Saturday, February 16, 2019

Addams Family Scarf

Charles Addams was one of several New Yorker cartoonists who designed vintage scarves for Richard Farrar. Addams collector Joel Jacobus has contributed three photographs of the full scarf (and one of a sketch which will appear here soon). He writes:
I don't know the date it was first available for sale, but I do know that it was pictured in an October 1951 issue of Quick Magazine and again in May 1953 issue of Look magazine. I also know that there was an Otto Soglow Farrar scarf and an Anatol Kovarsky Farrar Scarf produced at roughly the same time. I've heard that there was a Helen Hokinson Farrar scarf but I've never seen it.
The Addams scarf came in at least the following four color combinations (and possibly more):
  • gold & black & brown, 
  • blue & gold & white, 
  • red & black & gray & white, 
  • black & white.
Here then is the scarf in red and dark gray plus black and white:
Charles Addams
Scarf design for Richard Farrar
From the collection of Joel Jacobus

Charles Addams
Scarf design for Richard Farrar
From the collection of Joel Jacobus

Charles Addams
Scarf design for Richard Farrar
From the collection of Joel Jacobus



The black and white version of this scarf appeared in the October 1951 issue of Quick. Addams Family members were not given names prior to the premier of the television show in 1964. Therefore, the character we all know as Morticia is referred to simply as Addams' "witch lady" in the article.

Quick, October 1951
From the collection of Joel Jacobus
The May 1953 issue of Look includes an article on Addams. The photo of a picnic at the beach contains four Addams scarves and assorted "creepy crockery."
Look, May 1953
From the collection of Joel Jacobus


Joel goes on:

I suspect that the licensing deals involving several New Yorker artists, for several early 1950’s products, were made through the New Yorker because of the similarity between the basic designs, the manufacturers, and the time period.
I’ve seen Charles Addams, Helen Hokinson, & Richard Taylor plates, bowls, and ceramic ashtrays all made by Atlas China. I’ve seen sets of Charles Addams & Richard Taylor highball glasses made by an unknown maker. I’ve seen a Charles Addams scarf design & two Otto Soglow scarf designs all made by Farrar. They all came out at roughly the same time. It makes me wonder if there were also plates by Soglow, glasses by Hokinson, and scarves by Taylor that I just haven’t stumbled across yet. Taylor also licensed several sets of cheap metal ashtrays at roughly the same time but I think they were a side project that the others weren’t involved in.

I’ve had both the scarf and the Addams sketch for more than a decade. The scarf came from a seller on ebay who had TWO of them! A gold Addams scarf and a red Addams scarf. I would have tried to win both if I could have figured out how to rob the local bank, but happily the seller sent the wrong scarves to each winner so I got to see the gold one in person before sending it back in exchange for the red one.
Foolishly, I didn't take any photos of the gold scarf. Still kicking myself.

* * *

Just when I thought this was the only version of the Addams scarf online, I found these photos of the black and white variant posted on Collectors Weekly by luvskitsch:
Charles Addams
Scarf design for Richard Farrar
Photo by luvskitsch

Gomez corner detail
Charles Addams

Lurch corner detail
Charles Addams
Scarf Design for Richard Farrar

Photo by luvskitsch


Chas Addams' printed signature
Charles Addams
Scarf design for Richard Farrar

Photo by luvskitsch





Note:   Fashionable readers stylish enough to wear cartoon accessories are invited to contribute photos of the gold Addams scarf, of the other color combinations, and indeed of the other vintage scarves designed by New Yorker cartoonists for Richard Farrar in any and all available color combinations. Vintage ads for these scarves, if they exist, would be of great interest. Further print documentation of these scarves, like those provided above, are, of course, eagerly sought here.

But it doesn't have to end there. Joel Jacobus, who kindly provided this blog with all the photos and detailed information found at the top of this post, has, as you can tell, a broad-ranging interest in Charles Addams memorabilia. He writes,"I'm trying to compile a collectors guide to Addams artwork and licensed products (I have over two thousand entries thanks to the various tv shows, movies, and musicals his artwork has been involved with)…" Let's help him out. Please submit images and info on any rare and intriguing Addams and Addams Family goods in your possession. Have you got "creepy crockery" at home. I would be happy to forward to Joel relevant photos and information on such items in private collections, or to post them here if appropriate, or both.

Joel's Addams sketch will appear here tomorrow.

2 comments:

  1. Really enjoying this post. So much information! I knew I found a little treasure when I came across this :) I am going to sell this, but have no idea what to price it at. Any insight? Thanks again, Lisa

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