Anicus Chenilles - Only one per lifetime per member. This set includes mine, my two brothers and my fathers plus the Robert Jackson family of Monroeville PA. All chenilles were hand made accounting for the different styles, etc. You need to check the label on the back for age of the chenille since Standard Pennant changed the labels during the years the Lodge was in operation. Newer chenilles were always numbered on the back. According to many talks with members who have the first chenilles, the stripe was always yellow between two brown stripes. They have never seen a chenille with a white stripe since the lodge totem was specified with the yellow stripe and my fathers was one of the earliest examples.
Fade or Fake
Everyone has seen or maybe even collected the “white stripe” Anicus chenille but did you know that Anicus never had a white striped chipmunk chenille issue?
Let’s start with the basic guidelines that Anicus Lodge #67 had for its design. The lodge totem was an Eastern Chipmunk or Ground Squirrel. Its color is reddish brown above and light underneath. Along each side runs a conspicuous yellow-brown stripe between two black stripes. So we have the basic colors for the lodge totem.
Now if you take a look at any Anicus chenille, the border around the chenille itself is a very dark brown, almost blackish brown. Every “white” stripe Anicus chenille that I have examined has a very light brown border around the chenille, which indicates that the chenille was exposed to either light (UV) or even washed. Each “white” stripe Anicus chenille upon close examination of the “white” stripe has the yellow-brown pigment at its base, which indicates fading either by light or washing.
From the technical standpoint, it is all about the chemical makeup of an object. The technical term for color fading is photodegradation. There are light absorbing color bodies called chromophores that are present in dyes. The color(s) we see are based upon these chemical bonds and the amount of light that is absorbed in a particular wavelength.
Ultraviolet rays can break down the chemical bonds and thus fade the color(s) in an object - it is a bleaching effect. Some objects may be more prone to fading, such as dyed textiles and watercolors. Other objects may reflect the light more, which makes them less prone to fade.
Upon further research, many dyes used in the 1930-1940’s period had a tendency to fade, yellow being one that had a fading problem even to this day. Maybe you have a couch or chair by a window. Have you noticed that the cloth is faded where the sun hits the material? Or you have a favorite shirt or pair of pants that you wear often and coincidentally wash often. What happens to the colors? You get the idea.
If a collector wants to call this a special chenille, who am I to argue with them. I have the original first issue of the Anicus Chenille, which my father hardly wore, since he wore the round Anicus felts instead. The chenille has the yellow stripe and the border is very dark brown – per Lodge guidelines.
Long story short. If you have a “white” stripe chenille, it is not worth $500.00. It is worth the same price as any other chenille from that time period that a collector is willing to pay. My father’s chenille is priceless to me and I will cherish it forever as a keepsake in my collection.
I have yet to see a faked “white” stripe chenille since almost all of us collectors are in Scouting but if you see one on Ebay - as I always say, buyer beware.