Distracted by fast-moving life events, I am just now getting around to integrating the few treasures I purchased in Houston at the Quilt Festival. For years I have prowled antique shops, thrift stores and kept my eye peeled at venues like Houston where antique dealers appear. One of the dealers had a sizeable stash of exquisite handkerchiefs and I brought a few home with me.
This beauty is 14 1/2″ square — a great size for those days when allergies are acting up!
Printed mid-20th century, this type of handkerchief is popular among collectors. The designer’s name — Pat Prichard — is printed on the lower left-hand corner.
I thoroughly enjoy the overall design depicting 18th century dining ware but I’m even more drawn to the familiar saying in the top right corner:
Thinking this sounded like a quote of Ben Franklin, I searched for the details on this statement. And I’m glad I did. (Get the full story here.) This is actually a proverb that predates Franklin by quite a while. It refers back to mediaeval falconry where a bird in the hand (the falcon) was a valuable asset and certainly worth more than two in the bush (the prey). The first citation of the expression in print in its currently used form is found in John Ray’s A Hand-book of Proverbs, 1670, in which he lists it as: A [also 'one'] bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. The English borrowed the idea as a pub name in the Middle Ages and many pubs with that name survive today.
Americans liked the proverb so well they named a town in Pennsylvania for it. You can learn a lot from a hanky! You can see my interpretation of the saying here.
My grandmother spent many hours tatting, so I am always drawn to hankies with tatting edges. Here is an 11 1/2″ square beauty with a single design on the edge.
And here is another hanky the same size but with a more elaborate tatting design:
I found a few other hankies that I’ll share in the future.