Our modern day Mother’s Day started in the United States in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation to officially celebrate Mother’s Day on the 2nd Sunday of May each year. The initiative for Mother’s Day began with Anna Jarvis who wished to celebrate and honour the Mother of the family. In the 1920s Hallmark Cards started selling cards for the day and Anna resented the commercialization of the day and organised protests as she felt it should be the sentiment that should be important hence in the early days the gifts were usually of a sentimental nature eg hand-made cards, doilies, lace handkerchiefs and simple items made with love.
Last year the Museum had a lovely Mother’s Day morning tea, Dance Kaleidoscope entertained our guests with beautiful old English folk dancing and exquisite regency costumes. The Textile Group organised a display cabinet of some of the gifts which would have been given on Mother’s Day over the years.
We displayed cushions with beautiful cutwork embroidery;
R02093 was made circa 1930, from dark blue satin with cutwork cherubs and ruffled grosgrain trims, another was white-work displaying very involved cutwork embroidery.
A really beautifully made 1920s Handkerchief Sachet (R13794) is a dainty circular design made from pink crepe-de-chine and features a floral spray, hand-embroidered in silk thread.
A set of boxed silk stockings (R13792) features a beautiful lid inserted with painted silk, featuring a ballet scene from “Giselle”. The lid was meant to be used afterward as a wall decoration.
Bed jackets were also very popular gifts, our display one (R16306) is in pink Bri-nylon (1960s) with nylon lace, pink satin ribbon and embroidered rose buds. Nightgowns such as our mauve display (R16687) nylon sateen one had rouleau work and embroidered daisies.
Wishing all the Mothers a very Happy Mother’s Day.
written by Jan Banks