Sunday, February 14, 2010
Queen Victoria, In Memoriam
I often buy things at auction, usually lots of linen, from house clearances. These can be quite expensive, especially when the boxes contain lovely old lace and pretty tablecloths. These boxes are brought home, and sorted out. It can be tremendously exciting, searching through these heaps of textiles properly, wondering what might lie buried at the bottom. Usually it's yet another tablecloth or pillowcase or a heap of tiny tablemats.
Just occasionally though, you find something fascinating - and this happened to me last week, when I was sorting through a box of gorgeous old linen. Tucked into the bottom of the box was a circular linen envelope with the word Doyleys embroidered across it. That in itself was interesting, since we now tend to spell the word Doily - not that we use many of them on our dressing tables or cake stands these days!
But folded neatly into the linen envelope was a large cream silk handkerchief, and when I opened it out, I found that it was a memorial handkerchief for Queen Victoria. I had seen jubilee hankies, but not one that commemorated her death! It has a quote from Tennyson, who I believe was a great favourite with her - and a portrait of the Old Queen. She's not very pretty, but it is certainly a face full of character!
Posted by Catherine Czerkawska at 2:05 pm