Offered by: The Great Republic
1 Lake Circle Colorado Springs, CO 80906 , United States Call Seller 719.471.6157


Vintage "Pani La Shar Pawnee" Hermès Scarf by Kermit Oliver

$ 4,500
  • Description
    This is an original "Pani La Shar Pawnee" Hermès silk scarf by the American artist Kermit Oliver. The title "Pani La Shar Pawnee" is labeled at the top in white lettering.

    Kermit Oliver (born 1943) is an American painter who studied and worked as both an artist and a postman in Texas, USA. Oliver primarily worked in painting, but is also celebrated for his work as a designer for Hermès. The professional relationship began in 1980, when Lawrence Marcus of Neiman Marcus introduced Oliver to the Hermès brand. Oliver produced 17 custom designs for Hermès over 32 years and is the only American artist to ever design for Hermès. Oliver specializes in producing realistic and detailed portrayals of human figures; a skill that is very clearly demonstrated here in “Pani La Shar Pawnee.”

    The scarf features a rare and sought-after design featuring Pawnee Indian Chief Pani La Shar. The design was first issued in 1984 by Kermit Oliver at the beginning of his career as a designer for Hermès. The Pawnee chief at center is rendered in a very detailed and realistic style, as was common for Oliver. Oliver was a part of the realism art movement, a movement aimed to focus on unidealized subjects and events that were previously rejected in art. By incorporating Native American iconography into his work, he aimed to celebrate and memorialize the culture of those normally overlooked by larger fashion houses and brands. This scarf was produced in several different colorways, but this olive green rendition provides significant contrast between the figure and border embellishment while still maintaining earthly and natural tones.

    Hermès scarves have adorned the heads of countless sophisticated celebrities, like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Queen Elizabeth II, and Grace Kelly, but the company didn’t get its start as a distinguished fashion house. Hermès was founded in 1837 as a harness and bridle shop in Paris. It took another hundred years before the company would design a scarf, using the same silk that lined its riding jackets.

    The first printed silk, called “Jeu des Omnibus et Dames blanches,” debuted in 1937, and was created from a woodblock engraving by Robert Dumas, a member of the extended Hermès family. Named after a popular parlor game, the scarf featured a group of women enjoying the sport at center, encircled by two concentric rings of horse-drawn buses, and the words above stating, “a good player never loses his temper”. Over the next few years, Hermès’ silk canvases would feature such romantic and varied imagery as sailing ships, constellations, jungle animals, and, of course, horses.

    The square silk scarves were soon a mainstay of the luxury goods company, as different artists were commissioned to create their own designs with elaborate detailing and bright color combinations. An individual scarf typically incorporates 20 to 30 different hues, each printed from a unique silkscreen in a process that can take many hours to complete. More than 2,000 different designs have been produced since 1937, and vintage prints are frequently re-released in new color palettes, in limited numbers.


    Very good condition overall. No significant wear or visible tears to silk. Artist's signature is visible in the bottom right corner in black lettering. The iconic Hermès mark is also printed in the bottom right corner: "Hermès Paris." 100% silk scarf with hand-rolled edges.

    Scarf is framed according to conservation standards in a custom black frame, mounted on archival linen, with UV Plexiglas.

    Framed Dimensions: 32 1/2" H x 32 1/2" W x 2" D.

    Accompanied by our company's letter of authenticity.
  • More Information
    Documentation: Documented elsewhere (exact item)
    Period: 1980-1999
    Styles / Movements: Americana, Traditional
    Incollect Reference #: 729390
  • Dimensions
    W. 32.5 in; H. 32.5 in; D. 2 in;
    W. 82.55 cm; H. 82.55 cm; D. 5.08 cm;
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