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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer

4

Silk postcard with embroidered butterfly and flower imagery relating to Alf Barkle and his World War One service

2006.0084.0005

Silk postcard with embroidered butterfly and flower imagery relating to Alf Barkle and his World War One service

Object information

Physical description

A postcard made of white silk mounted within a white cardboard frame which is embossed with a design of tulips and other flowers. The silk is in two pieces forming a small pocket opening which features an embroidered butterfly and pink floral motifs. On the bottom section of the pocket is the inscription 'FROM YOUR SOLDIER BOY' embroidered in pink thread. On the reverse is the inscription 'Just another little / card ... best love from Alf'. The card is addressed to 'Mrs S Barkle ...'.

Statement of significance

The John Murray collection comprises two embroidered silk postcards and two embroidered silk handkerchiefs dating from World War One, and a program for Anzac Day ceremonies held at Serapeum, Egypt, in 1916. The handkerchiefs and postcards were sent by Norman and Alfred Barkle to their mother in Sydney while the men were serving with the First Australian Imperial Force in France and Belgium.

During World War One, embroidered silk postcards and handkerchiefs became popular souvenirs for Australians serving on the Western Front. Local women and small factories produced these items for sale to Allied troops through regimental canteens. The cards and handkerchiefs featured a variety of patriotic and sentimental motifs and messages and Australians sent thousands home to family and friends.

Object information

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