Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The handkerchief

Historians credit Marie Antoinette with the invention of the pocket handkerchief.
So the saying goes, she was so broken up at leaving her home in Austria that she cried all the way to France and wiped her tears with bits of lace torn from her dress and lingerie.

Anticipating future tears, she made it a point always to have a piece of lace tucked in a pocket of her dress.
This, says the historians was how the handkerchief came about.

Though people no longer dangle a handkerchief from their hand as a fashion gesture {like the old Miss Dior advertisement}
In the 20th century it became fashionable for men to place one in the left breast pocket of a suit or jacket and even today some men continue to do this.

While I still have a few pretty hankies in a little drawer, {mostly just for show tucked into a handbag} I do prefer to use tissues.

Have a wonderful week and many thanks for the kind visits to my blog and I look forward to coming over to say hello to you.



  1. I love vintage hankies. I have a small collection on monogrammed vintage hankies. So intresting to read how they came about. Wishing you a wonderful new week.

    Hugs and Kisses,

  2. Hi Ana,

    I have some lovely old hankies too, that belonged to my Mother and Grandmother. Thanks for the kind visit.

  3. I was very interested in finding out about the history of the hankie. I had know idea of its origins. Yes I have some very beautiful old hankies I must get them out and have a nostalgic look at them
    Hugs Kay

  4. Dear Carolyn
    I love vintage hankies also and i still have some of them.
    Wishing you a wonderful week with a lot of sun.
    Love and hugs Yvonne

  5. I love vintage hankies too..and I have few more too :)
    Sweet hugs with smiles xx

  6. Lovely post, interesting about Marie
    Antoinette. I have a copy of that painting.
    Happy week to you

  7. I LOVE THIS POST! I never knew this, but yet is makes so much sense....I do know she was very young and was placed in a situation that many young people are not ready for! That would bring out tears in any young heart!

    Wishing you a stunning day my friend. Anita

  8. Hello Carolyn,

    That is interesting, I have seen hankies used in crazy patchwork. I still have the hankie I won at a birthday party when I was in Primary school.

    Happy days.

  9. Hello Carolyn,
    That is a great fact to know. thank you for sharing that bit of information. I think lace handkerchiefs can be so beautiful.
    Big hug,

  10. I use tissues but of course, it would be much more elegant to have handcarechieves although I do not belive it would be more higenical :)

  11. I have some pretty hankies that were hand trimmed and embroidered by my grandmother. I can't imagine that anyone would actually use them, they are just too pretty! I didn't know the Marie Antoinette story!

  12. Dear Carolyn,
    your hankies are wonderful , and I would never use them, just have a lok at them from time to time ;O)
    I have some like those too, save in a box, and sometimes I just take them out, look at them and put them away again .
    Have a lovely week, my dear friend,
    sending much Love and hugs,
    Claudia xo

  13. How neat is this!!! I have several handkerchiefs that were given to me by my mom that once belonged to my grandmother. She always carried them and on my wedding I wrapped one around my bouquet as my grandma passed before I got married. I loved learning the history behind them!! Lovely day to you friend!!! Nicole xo

  14. Hello sweetie, Carolyn, what a lovely part of all the history about dear Marie Antoinette, must have been awful for little girls, back then to be given away like a bargain ..no wonder if she cried !!
    Your own lovely hankies, mostly tucked away, looks so pretty and sweet displayed with the beautiful rose.

  15. Who knew. From lady to man. I did not realize the handkerchief had such historical value. I always thought it was for particle purposes.

  16. Have a Nice week Carolyn...love from me Ria...x!

  17. Hi Carolyn, this is so good. I did not know this and how the hankie came about. Great info. I love pretty hankies and have a nice little collection just for decor. I too use tissue when needed. My grandmother crocheted pretty edges on hankies and those are precious to me.
    Thank you for sharing. Loved your pics.
    Have a wonderful rest of the week.

  18. Hi! It' s a great pleasure to know your blog. You are very talented. Very interesting part of history about Marie Antoniette! I 'll follow you.

  19. Amazing post! Love this history!
    Happy October, darling :)


  20. Hi dear friend ! Yo amo la historia de María Antonieta , adore esas servilletas , son realmente muy delicados ,,que tengas un bonito día

  21. I didn't know the handkerchief had such a fascinating history and it's nice to see some of the pretty ones in your collection. Hope you're having a great week Carolyn!

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  22. Hello, Carolyn; Oh, thank you very much introducing us history of handkerchief, had no idea connection with Marie Antoinette ;-)
    I have a couple of lace ones and never used them, too pretty to use ♡♡♡

    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend in New Zealand, xoxo Miyako*

  23. What a fun and interesting post. I actually miss getting lace handkerchiefs for gifts. My grandmothers and my mother always bought them for me at special times.

  24. Dear Carolyn,
    Well, you learn something new every day... I did not know how it came about..
    My mother always had a pretty handkerchief ready... Yours are so delicate...Just lovely!

  25. Hi Carolyn! I didnt know its history, so nice and interesting. Yours are very chic, even though I prefer to use tissues as well!:) Happy October dear, hugs! xo

  26. Dearest Carolyn,
    Very interesting to read... Who can argue this fact?
    I still use real hankies and if one is more environment conscious it does make good sense for going GREEN + beautiful... Always have loved lace handkerchiefs, either crocheted or tatted and I made several myself.

  27. I had no idea about the history of handkerchiefs and to be honest I had never given it a moments thought! I too prefer to use tissues, but I have some hankies for use at things like weddings when I think I should try to be more elegant! xx

  28. Hello Carolyn,
    those hankies are exquisite! I have one such embroidered hanky my mother gave me. I keep it in a special purse too, and I wouldn't dream of using it :)
    Thank you for stopping by my blog earlier and your kind comment!
    best wishes,

  29. Love the story about hankies
    and I loved Marie Antoinette more
    if she lived these days
    she'd be a rock star and definitely a diva♥


  30. dear Carolyn,
    I love vintage hankies, my mum has many from my grandmothers, ecc. very ancinet adn very pretty!
    It's a pity they're no more in use...

  31. What an interesting post. I had never heard this before. It makes a lot of sense. I carried an embroidered handkerchief of my grandmother's on my wedding day. I've always liked pretty ladies' hankies.

  32. I still love beautiful handkerchiefs and can't resist buying them! I use tissues too but it's nice a to have a pretty hankie in my handbag!

    Poor Marie Antoinette, she was so young when she stepped into the coach that took her to France, I'm sure I would have been sobbing my heart out too after leaving my entire family behind.
    Marrying at only 14 - imagine it!?!?!

    A great post Carolyn!
    Happy Thursday

  33. That's a wonderful little story about the origin of the handkerchief! Your lace trimmed ones are beautiful. I have a couple which were my Grandma's but I don't use them as they are so delicate but I'm so pleased to have them.

  34. A lovely post Carolyn! I still have some old hankies in my cupboard which were from my grandmother. They look really pretty with colourful and sometimes even embroidered flowers. It's always a joy to use them! I have to say though that tissues are more suitable when you have a cold :-)

    Madelief x

  35. I had no idea how they came about - thanks for the background! and what pretty handkerchiefs you have, too!

  36. Blessings Carolyn. Enjoyed your post and thought this was very informative. Like the story. I will never think of hankies in the same way ever again. My childhood music teacher always had a hankie up her sleeve. I can't remember her name, but I don't think it was Marie. grins. Have a wonderful week. d

  37. That's such a nice background story Carolyn! I don't carry one now but as a kid, I and my siblings always had one clipped on my school uniform.

  38. How very interesting. Thanks for the backstory on the handkerchief! My Mom has a collection of them as well...

    Have a wonderful week. Hope you're enjoying your Spring!


  39. Dear Carolyn!
    What a beautiful story!!!!
    Hope you are fine and I wish you a happy weekend!
    With love,

  40. What a beautiful and lovely story...

  41. What an interesting post Carolyn! Thanks for sharing :)

  42. I love the delicacy of vintage hankies... so feminine and lacy... Thank you for sharing this lovely post.

  43. What a lovely post, Carolyn! Your own hankies charmingly illustrate the very interesting text! Tissues are definitely more 'on trend', today, as far as hygiene goes, for sure, but they don't show as prettily as cotton, embroidered handkerchiefs, no matter how colourful the box!

    Happy Sunday!



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Carolyn xx