Q: I have a handkerchief that looks very old. This is printed along the top: "Sabbath Schools first instituted by Robert Raikes in Gloucester, Eng. A.D. 1782." The Sabbath School Hymn, a poem titled “We Never Part from Thee,” and the Golden Rule are also printed on it. At the bottom it says, “Boston Chemical Printing Company.” The hanky is 11 1/2 x 11 inches. Can you tell me how old it is?
A: Boston Chemical Printing Co. was incorporated in Boston in 1834 "for the purpose of printing on cotton, linen, and other fabrics." Religious, temperance, anti-slavery, and other designs were made. Your textile is one of several Sabbath School designs printed on fabric by the company. The printed fabrics were probably meant to be framed and displayed, not to be used as handkerchiefs. Your textile was probably made in the mid 1800s. If it weren't faded, it would be worth over $500.