Posted on Oct 23, 2012 in All Blog Posts, Floral

Flowers of all description are far and away the most popular image to be found on handkerchiefs. Thousands still exist, and are used and enjoyed daily. The ones that caught my eye and left me smiling however, were the gigantic flowers that seemed to have bloomed at Findhorn. Who carried these beauties? It had to be someone with the chutzpah of actress Rosalind Russell or the zip of a wise-cracking Eve Arden. These were classic “dames” in every sense of the word, who captured the silverscreen in the 1940s & 50s, and were as bold and colorful as these remarkable hankies..


Rosalind Russel                              Eve Arden


I recall one screen classic in which Russell wore a hat that consisted of a single gigantic flower perched atop her noggin. Who could miss her entrance?  These hankies echo that same dramatic flair. Who can forget Russell’s portrayal of Auntie Mame? Down-and-out, flat broke Mame was invited to dinner by a Texas oilman. With no time (or dime) to fashion a new outfit, she swiped a bird ornament from her Christmas tree, clipped it to her hat with a flourish, and sashayed out the door. Can there be any doubt that a hankie with a flower as courageous as her personality lurked inside her handbag?


This four-cornered beauty captured my heart–  vibrant and vivacious.








Then I stumbled across this classic American Beauty which measures an astounding 18” square!

It packs enough punch for even the most shy wallflower to make her statement without saying a word. When a gal swept by her intended target and dropped this little beauty, she meant business.

and just so you can see the difference in scale…


When you grasp the size of these graphics, you also can’t help but envision the massive flowers commanding the canvasses of painter Georgia O’Keefe, who, when asked about her paintings declared “I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.” and: “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else.  Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.”


Of course every flower needs a butterfly. Yowsa! The wings could practically fashion a small kite.



This is one May Day basket that needs no introduction. Pow!


This bright and cheerful hibiscus would be just the thing to dangle from your palm as you’re being swirled around the dance floor, particularly if you’re trying to catch the eye of a suitor, as Barbara Stanwyck might have donewith Henry Fonda in The Lady Eve. A small flutter in his direction signaled that he was free to “cut in.”  I checked out the movie, and Stanwyck, another colorful “dame” opted or a bolder move and tripped Fonda, so he would literally fall (flat on his face) for her.  This is definitely her kind of hankie.





Fly this dazzler from your rooftop and Santa is sure to find you…



It was a surprise to find this beauty because when I think of lily of the valley I think “delicate.” This hankie shouts – it’s spring!  Go outside and dance.



A pop of purple pizzazzzzzz



A big burst of lilies


A gargantuan gulp of gold


Voluminous violets



Round handkerchiefs were a popular favorite as well, and are treasured by many collectors


These stunners were never meant to be practical.  They were created for fun and fantasy.  In the 1950s rush to embrace an easy alternative (disposable, no ironing) we dispensed with hankies altogether, and threw out the baby with the bathwater, I’m afraid.  We ignored the possibility that there is room for both practical and pleasurable.  Sometimes you want to hang out in sweats, but sometimes a swish of satin is just the ticket.  These floral stunners were an essential accessory for the lady who wanted to sizzle and shine.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *