Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont. Established as a mom-and-pop operation in the 1990s, they expanded from a simple newsletter to a catalog to an online presence in relatively short time. That the ties are all handmade in Vermont by local employees made it even better.
The company offers bow ties in a variety of materials such as woven or printed silk, linen and satin, in a number of sizes such as butterfly, slimline, very slimline, diamond point, and as pre-tied or self-tie models. For those not interested in bows, they also offer necktie versions of each pattern, as well as scarves for ladies, pocket squares, cummerbunds, vests, ascots and children's ties. Each pattern has a name that evokes something about the pattern, whether it's the colors, the design, where it's from, etc.
Imagine our surprise then, when browsing their summer sale, that we came across a bow tie that is inescapably Sherlockian: it's called Reichenbach Falls.
As described on the site:
We totally fell for this dramatic stripe featuring a group of three narrow white-flecked stripes of navy, blue and orange, woven in Dijon-yellow silk.
Curious as to the reason behind the selection of this name, we reached out to Beau Ties Ltd. to see if they could tell us anything. They replied, with an acknowledgment that they were aware it that was the scene of the meeting of Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty, but beyond that, there is no resident Sherlockian on staff.
Not deterred, we began browsing through the entire inventory to see if we could pull out other references to Sherlock Holmes. We discovered no fewer than 45 patterns that could be reasonably connected to the Canon in some way, either through their names or patterns, and we provided quotes to support that. [Reference: if you need a guide to the four-letter Christ abbreviations for the Canon, you can find them here.]
Can you find more?
"I have never seen the Prime Minister so upset. As to the Admiralty - it is buzzing like an overturned beehive." [BRUC]
"several rough-looking men called during that time inquiring for Captain Basil" [BLAC]
"It was seven in the evening on a lovely summer's day," [MAZA]
"Well, sir, I've heard there are trout in the millstream and pike in the Hall lake." [SHOS]
"the lamentable death of young Willoughby Smith" [GOLD]
"It is always a joy to me to meet an American." [NOBL]
"Let me bring Sir Jasper Meek" [DYIN]
"At the end of Broad Street it ran right down to the water's edge, where there was a small wooden wharf." [SIGN]
"Our own colors, green and white." [WIST]
Some eight mentions in the Canon, including "bearing the Fordingbridge postmark" [GLOR]
"You remind me of Edgar Allen Poe's Dupin.""He had some analytical genius, no doubt; but he was by no means such a phenomenon as Poe appeared to imagine." [STUD]
"the wild chase down the Thames" [SIGN]
"Mr. Marlow Bates was a stranger to both of us." [THOR]
"Must see you over Cadogan West." [BRUC]
"I shall be the Hans Sloane of my age." [3GAR]
"His name, it appears, was Fitzroy Simpson." [SILV]
"Fitzroy McPherson was the science master, a fine upstanding young fellow" [LION]
"the marriage would be an absolutely quiet one, that it would be at St George's, Hanover Square" [NOBL]
"She might almost personify Britannia." [LAST]
"It has been in some points a singular case," said Holmes, flicking the horse on into a gallop." [TWIS]
"the singular contents of the ancient British barrow" [GOLD]
"I was blue ribbon at that time," [CARD]
How was First Lord of the Admirality (see above), plus"Standing as it does near the corner of the street, it commands a view down Howe Street," [REDC]
"Watson, do you remember seeing any cow-tracks today?" [PRIO]
Think about the above ties as a potential gift to the Sherlockian in your life (or yourself!). Perhaps there's a connection to his or her investiture, a color associated with a home scion society, or some other affiliation. And who knows? Perhaps the Beau Ties Ltd. team will feature a Sherlockian section of their next catalog!
All images courtesy of Beau Ties Ltd.