Blue & White Linen "Romal" Handkerchief


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Originally a textile of India, "romal" or "rumal" handkerchiefs were a popular accessory among all classes and even used in the slave trade.  This checked handkerchief is woven specifically to size with a border.  Possibly of American origin it is dated late 18th to early 19th century. This type of handkerchief is found through out the 18th century coming from India as well as being mimicked by the English and other countries in linens and mixes of cotton.  You can find similar neck and pocket handkerchiefs in collections through out the world.  As an example is this small pocket-handkerchief in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, which appears to have an almost identical weave dated to the 18th century.  

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