Delicate pair of vintage white cotton linen ladies hankies with elegant cutwork and crochet lace edges. Set of two (2) luxurious and extremely detailed hankies. Excellent condition with no stains, tears, rips or damage to note. Hand-washed and pressed. (c. 1950's)
A handkerchief. hanky, hankie is a square piece of cloth used for wiping the eyes or nose or as a costume accessory. More general versions of the handkerchiefs have been valued since Roman times for their utilitarian functions, but the pocket-handkerchief was created solely as a symbol of beauty and status. The pocket-handkerchief made its properly genteel debut during a promenade in a public garden, where its creator, an unnamed Venetian aristocrat lady, displayed her handiwork to a crowd of admirers.
Word of the comely cloth then traveled across Italy to France, where the expensive, embroidered handkerchief found great favor with the noblemen and women in the court of Henry II. By 1850, the handkerchief was an omnipresent accessory of the German upper crust as well.
But it was Marie Antoinette who made history one day at Versailles, when she noted that the square handkerchief was the most attractive and practical variety. Louis XVI then issued a mandate throughout the kingdom that all handkerchiefs must emulate a square shape. Thus, the handkerchief as we now know it was born, and still survives today.
Throughout history, the handkerchief eventually became accessible outside the courts of the monarchy, but was still prized as an elegant, luxurious, and expensive symbol of class and taste.
Each linen hanky measures 11" square. In excellent vintage condition, clean, pressed and ready for use or display.
A2834 - Pair Creamy White Cotton Linen Embroidered Ladies Hankies with Lace Edges 11"