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Dating vintage hankies
Everywhere you looked, hankies could be seen peeking from breast pockets or draped over a belt as a fashion accessory.Manufacturers like Burmel and Kimball advertised a “handkerchief of the month” in Vogue magazine.
In Persia, they were considered a sign of nobility and were reserved for kings.
Aristocrats sitting for their portraits would request that a handkerchief be included in the picture, the more embellished the better, to indicate their status and position.
During the middle ages, a knight would tie a lady’s handkerchief to the back of his helmet as a good luck talisman.
In the fifteenth century, European traders returned from China with great numbers of peasants’ headscarves, which Europeans appropriated as fashion accessories.
I must add here a most interesting exception to the rule of no silk hankies during the war – the next time you see a photo of a dashing aviator with a scarf trailing around his neck – look closely.
Many kerchiefs were imprinted with maps of the countryside where bombing missions were carried out.
In no way should you consider me a historian, nor this a comprehensive history.
I offer the following as a compendium of fascinating facts gathered from a variety of sources that appear to be reliable.
Soon a whole language of flirting developed which survived well into Victorian times.
It was said that Queen Elizabeth I, who carried handkerchiefs embroidered with gold and silver thread, created a whole vocabulary of hankie gestures for dealing with her staff.