Very good. Collection of 27 embroidered silk postcards created for use by Allied soldiers during the First World War. A few with light soilng or corner wear; overall very good. Although embroidered silk postcards were being produced as early as 1899, their popularity peaked during the war. According to the Imperial War Museum, "the hand-embroidery is thought to have been carried out in domestic houses as ‘out-work’ by civilians in France and Belgium, and in the UK by Belgian refugees. The designs were repeatedly embroidered on rolls of silk. These were then sent to cities (mainly Paris) for cutting up, final assembly and distribution, in what was probably at that stage a factory operation." Thousands of different designs were produced. Some were made from a single piece of embroidery affixed to a card within an embossed paper frame, others had a stitched pocket like an envelope made to contain a tiny message, which was usually pre-printed. "Themes range from the patriotic flags and emblems to special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas and Easter....There were selections for mothers, wives and children, even some to brothers and uncles. The messages are simple, as words were restricted by the censor; but none the less meaningful. Some offer ‘good luck’, others ‘best wishes’....Forget-me-not flowers and pansies were favourites, and roses and lilies of the valley. Each flower conveys a hidden message, a language of flowers much loved by the Victorians and still in use in the First World War. Military imagery includes regimental badges and colours" (Cheltenham Museum). Because they were expensive (about six times the cost of a normal postcard), embroidered postcards were rarely mailed as postcards, but rather enclosed within letters, and as result many have nothing written on the back of the card. This collection includes some of the more desirable cards (military imagery, Santa Claus) and also several that do have compelling, if brief, handwritten messages from soldiers. Among them: We have just crossed back across "No Man's Land" just north of Ypres. It is a strip of land varying from 15 to 20 miles in width and just literally torn to pieces from shell, and is strewn with the wreckage of machines of war. Tell you more of it soon, I hope. Jeff ; Dear Mother & all, Just a little souvenir from poor, devastated Belgium; Dear mother, Wishing you many happy returns of your Birthday and hope you live to see many more better than the last. Your loving son, Harold; Leaving this god-forsaken place for Englanf to-night and feeling fine...Gordon H. An interesting and attractive collection, ideal for display.