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Hand embroidered silk postcards

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Fast Facts
Also known as World War I silk postcards
Type of thing Personal
Date made or found
The date "c. 1915" was not understood.
Place made France, Belgium
Place used South Australia
Current location Mallala Museum
Used in Keepsakes during war

During WW1 silk postcards and handkerchiefs were popular purchases as souvenirs for Australian soldiers who were serving on the Western Front. Local French and Belgian women embroidered the different motifs onto strips of silk mesh with as many as 25 individual pieces of embroidery. The completed strips were sent to factories for cutting and mounting on postcards. There were two kinds of cards, one was a piece of embroidered silk mounted onto a card and the other was two pieces of silk sewn and mounted to form a pocket to contain a message or a silk handkerchief.

2512 Lance Corporal Clifford Stanley Clem Pethick served in the Australian Infantry Force in the 27th Battalion. He embarked on the 'Commonwealth' and sailed from Sydney on 19 September 1916 and disembarked at Plymouth on 4 November 1916. He left behind, in Aldinga South Australia, a wife Valeska Asenath Pethick and a daughter Audrey. While in France and Belgium the postcards were available as items for sale in regimental canteens. These were bought as mementos by Lance Corporal Pethick during his WW1 service and sent back home to Australia. His wife and daughter would have been delighted with the silk embroidered postcards and the embroidered or enclosed messages of endearment sent by him from overseas. The cards were treasured as mementos by the family and safely kept and later displayed in the framed format.


The collection of hand embroidered silk postcards has been arranged in a display and mounted in the framed format. The cards were styled in two ways and it was either the white embroidered silk mounted on a card with a carboard embossed frame or the featuring of two pieces of silk to form a pocket mounted on card within a frame.The thirteen embroidered cards have individual designs and there are a variety of messages to his wife and daughter.


  • Mallala Museum research notes
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