Monday, August 15, 2011

Foundling Swatches

I'm quite moved by these and I think you will be too. I found them at via a link on Pinterest. They are from the Foundling Museum in London and, believe it or not, there are 5000 swatches!

From Wildmuse - "Fragments. Remembrances. Scraps of cloth or small tokens attached to the handwritten records of foundling children were kept as a means of identification. It was hoped that these remembrances would be a means of one day uniting mother and child under more hopeful circumstances.

Occasionally, there were happy endings where the child was reclaimed, apprenticed, or adopted. However, more often than not, the foundling children immortalized in these unusual ledgers died young and were buried in unmarked graves. What almost all of them have in common is that this is all that is left of their existence, which is perhaps more of a mark than most people leave, even those who have happier beginnings or more successful lives.

There are just bits of cloth, a ribbon or a button attached to the faded pages in a record book, something so practical and seemingly ordinary which have across time and upon rediscovery become completely fascinating. So beautiful and sad. Haunting.

Apparently someone on the hospital staff folded the paper sheets into small packages of nine folds, most of which were never opened, and eventually collected into books. For this reason, they were accidentally preserved and rediscovered two and a half centuries later."

There is another good post and more of these images right here.
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