Even if the photo were not black and white, and even if it were not watermarked with the name of a once widely circulated magazine that has been more defunct than not since 1972, it would be dated by the lit cigar in what appears to be an office, a practice that has been outlawed in most of the West for some time now.
That aside, the cigar smoker in the photo is a man named Alexander Korda, the Hungarian born producer who almost literally was the British motion picture industry for the last twenty-five years of his life. And other than to illustrate his good taste in Cuban tobacco, as demonstrated by the bowl (bowl!) of cigars atop his desk, the purpose of the photo is to show the not-quite-a-legend-but-considered-to-be-very-well-dressed Mr. Korda wearing a black necktie. Now Korda was known to have gray neckties in his wardrobe, unlike contemporaries such as Aristotle Onassis who was quoted as saying he wore black exclusively so his rivals could not guess his mood, but in wearing that lack of color he joined quite a few well dressed men who limited themselves to black knits and black satin neckties for their city clothes.
The wearing of solid black neckties remains a practice that has not dated at all provided one still wears neckties in the first place. It makes particular sense when a man is wearing black shoes with his suit, as he once did exclusively in England and the United States generally. Black satin has a sheen to it that contrasts with worsted jackets, the black silk knit adds texture to ensembles, and both complement polished black leather on the feet in a quiet sort of way.
All this rambling came about because I chose a black knit for myself yesterday, to wear with burgundy monktraps, and my tan Solaro suit. I had not had it out for a while, but it looked good despite relating to nothing else I had on. A black necktie usually does.