First has a superb image of a peacock and its multi-coloured tail, with colours of the allied countries flags blended in (France, Italy, UK, Belgium, Netherlands...).
On back ‘Visé Paris’ and ‘Fabrication française’. (Made in France, destined for Paris.)
Unused (as is normal), some paper wrinkles. Bit of yellowing on edges.
Second has ‘To My Valentine’, with embroidered pink heart on green plant, and red ribbon running through top of card.
On back, identity of his Valentine: ‘Miss Bessie S. Pitkin Ave.’
One dated to WW1 period, the other undated.
Paper browned front and back.
The embroidered silk postcard is a common souvenir of the First World War. They are blank postcards onto which an embossed paper surround has been glued, to frame and hold a central piece of silk. On the silk, a design is hand-embroidered in coloured thread.
The embroidered postcards were very popular with British soldiers who often sent them home. They were sold in thin paper envelopes but were seldom sent through the post in them. They were too fragile and, more particularly, they represented quite an investment – they were not cheap souvenirs. Usually they were mailed with letters. For this reason, they are often unwritten, with no marks on the back, any message having been sent in an accompanying letter.
Production peaked during the 1914-18 war, as the format proved especially popular with British soldiers. 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.