13 November 2011
George VI: coronation tablecloth, 1937
From a past eBay auction, all four corners of the tablecloth featured this design. It measured about 33in x 34in and was in good condition, according to the seller, and sold for 17.78GBP.
I do wonder, with tablecloths, whether people really sat down to eat with their special coronation cloth on the table. Was it made before the coronation, and used on the day? Ever used after? And always interesting, in relation to this particular coronation, is the switch from Edward VIII to George VI. Was this design always George VI and Elizabeth (as the scrollwork names would seem to imply), or was it originally Edward Rex? I know of one sampler design that I've seen done with elaborate initials that are ER (for Edward) in some versions and GR (for George) in others. I don't know the lead time that manufacturers/designers/newspapers/magazines would have needed or worked to in those days.
I also wonder, with tablecloths and traycloths, whether they were more likely to be bought as preprinted linens rather than as transfers. For a sampler, the embroiderer may well have a suitable piece of fabric, but a tablecloth sized piece, being larger - a preprinted and possible already-hemmed linen (or cotton) piece might have been the method of sale. It would also make the placement of the transfer easier (eg. for this one, aligning all four in the corners diagonally). Then again, a measurement of 33in x 34in is less than 36in, which has been a standard fabric size.
If you know more about this design - where it was published, whether it was a transfer or a preprinted linen etc - please leave a comment.