Princess Mary Gift Fund Writing Wallet with Ypres Silk Hankie
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About this item
Princess Mary Gift Fund Writing Stationery Wallet with Belgian Silk and Lace Ypres Souvenir Hankie.
Measuring approximately 177 mm x 127mm the stiffened cotton canvas Wallet would have originally contained 2 packets of envelopes and two packs of writing paper, instead inside is a single silk and lace Hankie. The intention was to provide an alternative Christmas gift to nonsmokers.
The flap of the pouch is adorned with a crowned M (monogram) and the text Christmas fund 1914. Closure is by a castle single press fastener.
The Silk Hankie is trimmed with lace and is embroidered with a representation of the Cloth Hall in the centre of Ypres and “Souvenir d’ Ypres”
Overall condition of both items is very good with some colour having run from the embroidery thread.
Princess Mary's original intention had been to pay, out of her private allowance, for a personal gift to each soldier and sailor. This was deemed impracticable, and a proposal was made that she lend her name to a public fund, which would raise the necessary monies to provide the gift. From the outset the young Princess took a deep personal interest in the work of the Fund and in a letter release by Buckingham Palace, signed by the Princess, she explained the purpose of the Fund. The charm and sincerity of her appeal were irresistible:
"I want you now to help me to send a Christmas present from the whole of the nation to every sailor afloat and every soldier at the front. I am sure that we should all be happier to feel that we had helped to send our little token of love and sympathy on Christmas morning, something that would be useful and of permanent value, and the making of which may be the means of providing employment in trades adversely affected by the war. Could there be anything more likely to hearten them in their struggle than a present received straight from home on Christmas Day?
Please will you help me?"