THREADS OF FEELING:
's Textile Tokens London Foundling Hospital
Curated by John Styles
The Foundling Museum in London has an exhibit on display until March 6th that is of interest to everyone interested in Georgian England, women's history and textiles.
Foundlings, abandoned infants, were often left at the orphanage with a token, some form of identification, family link or remembrance such as ribbons, medals, cockades and scraps of fabric. The foundling home kept dated records, included the tokens and often included a scrap of what the baby was wearing when found. The exhibit focuses on mid-18th-century tokens, giving us an unprecedented view of British fabric in those years.
Click here to read more about the museum and the exhibit:
Curator John Styles has published a catalog, but it may be too late to buy one. All the usual retail sites indicate it's sold out.
Update: The Foundling Museum writes in the comments: "The book has been restocked in the USA and available from http://www.burnleyandtrowbridge.com/books.aspx
The Museum does not offer an online service, however if you email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7841 3600 Tues-Fri the Museum can post a copy out to you."
Read what other bloggers have said by clicking on these links:
The Textile Hunter Blog
Austen Only Blog
"Florella Burney. Born June the 19:1758:
In the Parish of St. Anns...not Baptized,
pray Let particular Care be take'n off this child,
As it will be call'd for Again,...."
The London Printworks Trust silk-screened a small run of reproduction fabric from Florella's token to make a woman's garment for the exhibit.
Read more about their project here:
The reproduction print and garment
The exhibit brings into focus the images of abandoned children we've read about in novels and biographies.
Harriet Smith, a fictional foundling,
played by Toni Collette in "Emma" from Jane Austen's novel
Georgianna the Duchess of Devonshire in 1784
with her daughter by her husband.
She was not permitted to raise her daughter by her lover.
The painting is by Sir Joshua Reynolds
The Foundling Hospital about 1750.
It was founded in 1739.