Friday, 4 March 2011

A salesman's silk handkerchief samples c1930

I bought these at an antiques fair the other day, an intriguing home-made book stuffed full of 1930s silk handkerchief samples. It is simply made from sheets of brown paper bound in the middle with coarse string, to which have been carefully pinned about 130 silk handkerchiefs in a wonderful range of designs; some pages have up to seven different ones placed neatly on top of each other and pinned in place.

There are florals, paisleys, spotted and patterned, many still with labels giving the price per dozen, or proclaiming them to be hand printed British silk. It looks like the kind of sample book a traveling salesman would have made up for himself and kept in a smart little suitcase to collect orders for 'a dozen of the florals' or '2 dozen nauticals & 3 dozen paisleys' from various shops on his round. They remind me of handkerchiefs tucked neatly into coat or jacket pockets or drenched in smelling salts to revive fainting ladies in episodes of Poirot!

1 comment: