Friday, 16 October 2009

Glamorous vintage silk lingerie from 1940's

This is a nightdress and dressing robe dating to the 1940's in pink crepe de chine silk and Mechlin lace.                                                                                                                                                                                I have just bought all these items and more from an auction in Newcastle    
They were all made by a lady for her wedding trousseau and worn just on the honeymoon and then put away and treasured for the next 70 years!  They are in amazing condition and are truly representative of that age of glamour. The nightgown and dressing robe are super and far too nice just to lounge around the house!!  The nightgown could be very easily worn as an evening dress.

As they correspond to a UK size 10 -12 they are still very wearable by women today unlike many of the Victorian clothes which tend to be too small. They are also quite long, again an advantage over older antique clothing. The nightgown and robe are 59" long

The Mechline lace is all hand applied and the whole trousseau has been put together with great care and then lovingly kept. As I also bought other lace items from the same estate, some of which were only part finished, I think that it can be assumed that the owner made the lace herself and therefore probably made all the clothes too.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Antique Linen with hand embroidery monograms

Hand embroidered monograms on linens began with the heraldic and family crests that were embroidered onto all the linens of the aristocracy. During the 19th century it became part of the tradition of preparing the wedding trousseau for middle class families - monogramming the household linens with the combined initials of the couple-to-be. Occasionally, the date was included to mark the year of the wedding - invaluable now to help in dating the linens

These monograms were on some linens - cushions, pillowcases and linen sheets - that I bought at an auction in North Yorkshire from a large house in Harrogate. As there are more than one combination of initials I think that it can be assumed that the family also inherited  linens from the maternal side of the family

Hand embroidered monogrammed linen has become very popular in recent years and therefore more expensive!   Below are some images of  the embroidered date and monogram on a linen sheet. It is quite unusual to find the date embroidered in such a prominent position.This sheet came in the same lot of linens and was obviously much loved and used as it has been darned several times. The embroidery work is however excellent - it is currently at auction on eBay.

There is an excellent website which shows the different types and styles of lettering used in monograms  This can be of great help when trying to decipher a monogram as some are so stylised that it can be difficult to work out each individual letter

Friday, 2 October 2009

Vintage hand embroidery - cushions & firescreens

I bought this beautiful hand embroidery panel at auction recently. It had been used as a firescreen and then as a picture but the glass is missing. A friend of mine tried very hard to try to make it fit into her house as she liked the design so much but with no success.

So now I have to decide whether to have it re-mounted and glazed and use it as a picture or maybe it would make a very special cushion.

The needlework is excellent - it is hard to believe that this high level of skill was commonplace at one time and that all girls learnt to sew and embroider

I have several cushions - some tapestry but most hand embroidery - placed around my house. I am always drawn to the Tree of Life designs that were very common in the 1940's - 50's.  These kind of decorative cushions can be better than pictures in a room as they can be moved around to add accent of colour and they have a practical purpose too. 

I sell a lot of these type of cushions in the weeks leading up to Xmas. Many are bought as gifts but I think that often my customers decide to keep one for themselves too!