This year at Carolina HeartStrings Alessa and I are doing a monthly post about antiques or vintages items. If you have been following us you know that we both love them and have a house full of them and Alessa is lucky enough to live in one (an historic home).
Today I decided to focus on one of my most precious “collectables.” My vintage handkerchief collection. I consider this a family heirloom collection because it was my grandmother’s and she passed this collection down to me. I remember as a child that my paternal grandmother, Mimi is what I called her, had this box and she stored her handkerchiefs in it.
It always sat on her dresser and I loved to open it and go through the ones she had in there. They were always pressed and perfectly folded and I remember her putting one in her purse when she dressed up. I don’t remember what age I was when she started gifting me with handkerchiefs of my own, but I remember how excited I was.
Here are some of my favorite ones that were my grandmother’s.
Here is a little fun history about the handkerchief for those of “us” that are history buffs! Did you know that you can trace the history of handkerchiefs back to the second century AD when performers used them as props for plays in ancient Rome?
Government officials waved them during the gladiator games and spectator events. (I may have to watch Ben Hur or The Gladiator again to see if I see any waving in the crowd). The handkerchief evolved into a fashion accessory in the 16th century. Wealthy women carried the small fabric pieces in their hands and used them when they flirted or to cover their faces to avoid an unpleasant smell. The handkerchiefs usually had featured lace edges and hand embroidery.
Today, handkerchiefs add a splash of color to men’s and women’s suits when they are placed in the pocket of a suit jacket. Some brides even carry heirloom handkerchiefs on their wedding day. And (I hope I don’t offend anyone) but some people still use a handkerchief for that yucky practice of wiping their nose. Ewwww. Okay, so this one practice my grandmother and I never used the precious handkerchiefs for. Thank goodness!