Odd Materials

2008-05-30A map as art goes back to cavemen for inspiration. Though most of us feel that a good map is art in itself, some maps are more art than science. Often these map representations use less precise materials such as mosaics, tapestries, and samplers or quilts. Others such as the Bay Model, the site of a recent meeting in Sausalito, accurately represent the world in an unusual way – in this case the tidal flows throughout the Sacramento River and San Francisco Bay waterways.

f0-tiesOn a more personal and humorous angle, one of our members has presented his extensive collection of maps on ties. The author noted that other map collectors in addition to himself liked to wear a necktie displaying a map when attending a map meeting. He decided to supplement his own highly focused Holy Land map collection with map neckties and managed to “tie up” the entire field of study. He presented his collection along with a history of the necktie to the California Map Society in 2007. and published an article on the subject titled “Cartocravatia” in the Spring issue #71 2008 “Portolan,” the Journal of the Washington Map Society.

The modern necktie as we know it was invented in the late 19th century and the first map neckties appeared much more recently. The avenues for collecting them are limited  to gifts, hotel ,museum and tourist gift shops, specific internet necktie web sites and auction sites i.e. EBay. New map neckties are always being created and so the collection is always open to new additions as well as the older resales. This  article, which includes the history of the necktie, now includes annotated photographs of the authors entire collection through 2011, and can be used as a  visual reference guide by those afflicted with map necktie collecting interests. “Cartocravatia” is now published as OP No. 12 in the Publications section of this site along with large images of the collection at “Gallery of Ties”


Dr. Leonard Rothman donning a patriotic tie

Dr. Leonard Rothman, CMS member and coordinator for the BAM Group has a passion he calls Cartocravatia. In a recent CMS meeting he pointed out that “cravat” comes from the 17th Century Croatian scarf. He carried the development of men’s neckties through four subsequent centuries, from the 18th C Steinkirk, stock, bandanas and incredibles to the 19th C bow, Byron, plantation, and Beau Brummell. The 20th C saw the development of designer, fashion, bolo and finally the crowning achievement, the map tie. The 21st C notes these latter examples in cartographic journals and presentations. Dr. Rothman explained that he has an advanced case of Cartocravatophillia GravitasHe then produced images of some of his vast collection gathered into ranks and phylum and then some nice examples “in the flesh” so to speak. His quest for such goes on, mainly through the internet.

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