March 09, 2023 0 Comments
So I was in the basement sorting out old and forgotten FraternalTies stuff. I need to figure out which things must go (to the trash) and which ones to keep. Every once in a while a rare gem shows up-like the content of this dusty Space Odyssey Monolith looking cardboard box.
The moment I saw the first line in my own handwriting, I knew exactly what it means. But the next line momentarily mystified me. It says, "Wrong tip- Denver 5". I remember that in 2015 we made a custom lodge necktie for Denver Lodge No. 5, the oldest Masonic lodge in Denver, Colorado, but I still recall that the design is definitely not paisley.
I'm not really that big of a fan of using adjectives pertaining to luxury but I can't come up with other words to describe this necktie. Sure a bit of designer bias is probably there but it literally took me about 2 years of making small and incremental adjustments to the design. Each failed fabric swatch is a punch to the gut (and our pocket) but eventually we arrived at the perfect formula.
Here's one of the earliest fabric swatch that is a total failure.
At a glance, the tie looks like just a simple and well-made paisley tie. The looker will now it's not an average cheap tie because it exudes a luminous iridescent sheen especially at various angles. Upon closer inspection, one will peculiar symbols beginning with one (the Eye being the most obvious), and then two, and three... and so on.
In the world of numismatics, coins with mistakes are called "mint errors". This errors end up being the most sought-after because of their rarity. Following this logic, this "First ed." Masonic paisley tie is a true collector's item because of a particular error in weaving. Look closely and you'll see that the letter G in the centre of the Square and Compasses is reversed. While the collectors loved it, I was irked by it especially that it took us over a year of trial and error to arrive at this weave and we didn't notice the error until it was too late. Thankfully, only a small batch was made.
But one thing that makes this a genuine rare tie is, as mentioned on the box, it has the wrong tipping. The so-called tipping is the diamond shape are at the back of the widest tip of a necktie. Traditionally, and to save cost, this part is usually just a plain black piece of polyester. We usually have this part made with the same fabric as the rest of the tie (more expensive but worth it), and sometimes we put customized embroidery on it. Our manufacturer made a one-off mistake and made one of the first-edition paisley ties with a different tipping.
Denver Lodge No.5 Is Colorado's Oldest Masonic Lodge and we are proud to have made a few batches of custom silk ties for them. But this paisley tie is not made for Denver 5. Of the 100 1st edition paisley ties that were made, this particular one ended up with a Denver 5 tipping instead of being self-tipped (tipped with the same fabric as the rest of the tie).
We are putting this rare tie up for auction to help raise funds for Hiram's Regalia- a new business that Rechelle and I have dreamed of setting up many years ago. Our stated mission is "to enhance the Masonic Initiatic experience, one good man at a time." We aim to do this by supplying the Brother with only the best quality lambskin apron (and other regalia products) that we can make. By bidding on this, you are directly helping us achieve our mission.
In case you're wondering what the rest of the Denver Lodge No. 5 necktie looks like, I found this image along with a Testimonial from W. Bro. Rossi.
FraternalTies is an original content and original Masonic merchandise small business operated by the Gomez family in Toronto, Canada. We make limited edition Masonic silk ties that sell out fast. Subscribe below and be the first to know when the next one drops!