The bolo or bola tie, as it’s variously known, is a fairly recent addition to men’s formal clothing, invented some time in the 1940s by a Wickenburg, Arizona, silversmith named Victor Cedarstaff. Taking its name from a type of Argentinian rope called the boleadora, the bolo tie consists a small braided lariat-like cord that’s secured around the neck by a decorative clasp.

Silver usually decorates the tips of the cord, and the braids are often made of multicolored strands, but it’s the clasp that captures most of the attention of artisans and jewelers. In keeping with its Southwest origins, Native American jewelers make bolos out of sterling silver set with blue turquoise, red coral, and other semi-precious stones. Agates and beads are also used.

Some men’s-clothing purists question whether the bolo tie is a tie at all. In 2005, for example, a 17-year-old high school senior in Montana was denied his diploma because he wore a bolo tie to his graduation ceremony rather than a tradition cravat made of silk or (shudder) polyester. The state’s governor rushed to the lad’s defense, declaring, “In Montana and anyplace in Indian country, a bolo tie is dressed up... a tie is a tie." In fact, in 1971, the state of Arizona had already made the bola tie (as it’s spelled there) its official state neckwear. New Mexico followed suit in 2007.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Ventagli.org

Ventagli.org

Anna Checcoli's homage to the beauty and art of hand fans ('ventagli,' in Italian). Use the left-hand nav to browse… [read review or visit site]

The Black Tie Guide

The Black Tie Guide

Peter Marshall became an authority on formalwear out of necessity — he needed a tux to wear on the maiden transat… [read review or visit site]

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

The Fashion Columbia Study Collection (FCSC) is the digital home of the Columbia College Chicago’s fashion archiv… [read review or visit site]

Antiquespectacles.com

Antiquespectacles.com

Dr. David Fleishman's comprehensive spectacles site (over 3500 images), in collaboration with museums around the wo… [read review or visit site]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Large Signed Navajo Rare Lone Mountain Spiderweb Turquoise 925 Silver Bolo TieOld Pawn Navajo Vintage Turquoise Sterling Silver Bolo Tie Vintage Navajo Sterling Silver Turquoise & Coral Badger Claw Bolo Tie | Rs LxVintage Old Pawn Hopi Sterling Round Bolo TieVintage Navajo Sterling Silver Turquoise & Badger Claw Bolo Tie Black Fox |rs LxLot Old Pawn Navajo Sterling Silver Bolo Tie Ends Tips Jewelry 4 Matched PairOld Pawn Navajo Vintage Coral & Turquoise Sterling Silver Bolo Tie E & D CharleyVintage Old Pawn Navajo N. Begay Sterling Oval Onyx & Coral Bolo TieVintage Signed Sterling Silver & Turquoise Bolo Tie 34.3 GramsOld Pawn Navajo Vintage Coral & Morenci Turquoise Sterling Silver Bolo TieOld Pawn Navajo Handmade Sterling Silver & Turquoise Roadrunner Bolo Tie | Rs AxNavajo Sterling Silver Floral Applique & Turquoise Bolo Tie Rita Montoya |rs AxSterling Silver - Navajo Turquoise Concho 10.8g - Bolo Tie Slider Tp4511Vtg Zuni Dexter & Eva Cellicion Sterling Silver Mosaic Sunface Inlay Bolo Tie |gVintage Navajo Sterling Silver Turquoise Badger Claw Bolo Tie Signed M.l. |rs BxOld Pawn Zuni Sterling Silver Multi-stone Inlay Thunderbird Bolo Tie | Rs BxVintage Nanajo Turquoise Bolo Tie, Very Old, Very AuthenticVintage Old Pawn Navajo Sterling Bolo Tie Concho Pierced Dangle EarringsVintage Sterling Bolo Tie Turquoise Coral Hand Made Horse Hair Navajo No Reserve1960s Large & Heavy Navajo Sterling Silver & Turquoise Buffalo Bison Bolo Tie Vintage Old Pawn Navajo Sterling Oval Carico Lake Stone Turquoise Bolo TieVtg Southwestern Old Pawn Coin - Sterling Silver Bolo Tie Turquoise Mop CabochonElk Ivory Gold-sterling Silver Bolo Tie, Custom Jewelry Teeth Hunting ElkaholicVintage 925 Sterling Silver Bolo Tie Carved Heavy 66.7g Southwestern Woven 1233Navajo Turquoise Silver Kachina Bolo Tie Designer M Ortiz SignedSterling Silver Zuni Style Round Bolo TieVintage Navajo Sterling Silver Small Turquoise Bear Claw Shadowbox Bolo Tie 925Effie C Zuni Sterling Silver 925 Bolo Tie Synthetic Turquoise Signed 84g 46632-4Vintage Navajo Sterling Silver Carnelian & Chrysoprase Bolo Tie | Rs AxSterling Silver & Turquoise Bolo Tie W/ Bennett Pat Pend. Clasp ~ N. Mexico MadeOld Pawn Zuni Snake Turquoise Nugget & Red Coral And Sterling Bolo TieMens Jewelry Bolo Tie Lot Various StylesLot Of Mens Jewelry Bolo Tie Belt Buckle Tie Clips Tie Tacks Cuff Links RazorHuge! Museum Vintage Navajo Royston Turquoise Sterling Silver Bolo Tie Dead PawnVintage Sterling Native American Navajo Turqouise & Corral Bolo TieVintage Men's Sterling Silver & Turquoise Bolo Tie Slide & AgletsArdale Mahooty Zuni Native American Sterling Inlay Bolo TieVintage Bolo Tie Lot Turquoise Copper Southwestern MoreBolo Tie LotVintage Bell Trading Silver 925 Turquoise Thunderbird Bolo Tie 28.5 Grams 6198-3Vintage, Recent Lot Of 7 String, Bolo Western Ties, Very Fine Vintage Turquoise & Sterling Bolo TieOld Vintage Navajo Eagle Bolo Tie, Inlay Turquoise And Coral, Sterling SilverVintage Sterling Silver Bolo Tie With Turquoise Cabochon Vintage Navajo Turquoise Silver Shadowbox Bolo Tie Old Marked BksBill Burch Hand Carved Bolo Tie (the Pirate #27,840)Vintage Estate Gold Tone Signed Sarah Green Cab Bolo Tie Slide Necklace!!! 1171jEffie C. Zuni Sterling Silver Turquoise Nuggets Bolo TieRoyal Order Of Jesters Mirth Is King Turquoise Bolo Tie With Dallas Jester PinVintage Bolo Sterling Silver Mid Century Modern Retro Cowboy Western Mod Vintage Multi Gemstone Inlay Bird Silver Bolo Tie (19g)Native American Navajo Style Classic Natural Turquoise And Sterling Silver Bolo2 1/8" Tall Navajo "tommy Singer" Sterling Hand Stampings Peyote Bird BoloGreat Classic Zuni Style Silver And Turquoise Shadow Box BoloExcellent Vintage Inlaid Bolo Tie - Shriner Motif - Bruce ZunieVintage Sterling Silver Bolo Tips Lapidary Supplies Findings Western 3 Pairs 3Vintage Bolo With Turquoise, Silver, And Other Stones. Beautiful !Lot Of 16 Bolo Ties Vintage Colors Polished Stones + More Gem Show 19821899 Morgan Silver Dollar Bolo TieVintage Handmade Turquoise & Sterling Silver Navajo Bolo Tie Usa