The author offers an overview of the history of handkerchiefs including their social significance, the various materials used to produce handkerchiefs, especially during WWII, and the rise of designer handkerchiefs. I especially appreciate her delineating characteristics of handkerchiefs by decade. The 240 photographed handkerchiefs, dating from 1920 to 1960, are arranged by color groupings with one handkerchief per page.
Each was chosen for it's overall design. Most are 'generic' printed cotton, with floral or geometric motifs, yet each has a nice visual impact on the page.
Most books have focused on handkerchief categories such as novelty, designer, souvenir, or hand work embellished. Here we come to understand the wonderful design of the hankies women actually carried in their pockets and purses, the ones not saved special. Some even show wear and holes. The collector saw beyond condition, appraising the design quality of the piece. The designs have an exuberance about them, an energy that is delightful to the eye. This is wonderful eye-candy for collectors.
For your viewing pleasure here are some 'generic' handkerchiefs from my own collection.
|Someone embellished this with French Knot embroidery|
|The white background shows through this thin linen material under the flash|
|Machine embroidery in black|