“Spotted” Handkerchiefs appear frequently through out the 18th and on into the 19th c. They are described in shop advertisements, runaway ads and featured in genre paintings. Originally made by “tie & dye” method in India, English printers & dyers sought to duplicate the popular style which made for lively patterns at minimal cost. Using blocks they would use a paste or wax to create the resist design mimicking the original tie and dye. This handkerchief is based on several examples in originals and contemporary painting. One such example is held in the collection of the Philadelphia History Museum and attributed to Quaker's Hannah and Samuel Fischer. It appears to be cotton and a deep purple which has oxidized to a dark brownish color. The color of our handkerchief is taken from our color matches on similar purples printed on cotton and linen in the 18th century. Another example is a handkerchief recovered from the General Carleton of Whitby - 1785 with the same design. You can read an excellent report assembled by various authors on this wreck and it's surviving artifacts. You can find a picture of the handkerchief on page 193 of the report in the section about surviving mariner's clothing by Larry Babits and Matthew Brenckle.