Souvenir cushion cover from Palestine, 1940

Place Middle East: British Mandate of Palestine, Palestine
Accession Number REL34612
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Cotton, Cotton sateen
Maker Unknown
Place made British Mandate of Palestine: Palestine
Date made 1940
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Ivory cotton sateen souvenir cushion cover, with an ivory polished cotton fringe. The cover bears a stencilled design of a wreath of fuchsia pink and orange coloured flowers, and leaves, tied with a green and fuchsia pink bow. In the centre is a stencilled representation of the Australian Army's Rising Sun badge in fuchsia pink, orange, red and green. The scrolls beneath the badge are stamped in black ink 'AUSTRALIAN COMMONWEALTH MILITARY FORCES'. Above the badge in gold paint is 'TO MOTHER FROM JIM' and beneath the badge is 'PALESTINE 1940'. The entire design is highlighted in gold paint, although, with the exception of the 'To Mother from Jim', most of the gold has rubbed off. The back of the cover is made from plain weave white cotton with a gap at the bottom to allow for the insertion of cushion stuffing.

History / Summary

These types of souvenirs were very popular with Australian troops, they were easy to send home and were colourful. The vendors would have a number of designs for sale already machine embroidered, which the soldier could then have personalised with a date or message. Soldiers could also design their own souvenir, but the souvenir here is one of the former type. Unlike similar fabric souvenirs for sale in Egypt, where the outline of an object such a pyramid would be in filled with embroidery, Palestinian souvenirs almost always have a machine embroidered outline of an object that is then filled in with paint. Palestinian souvenirs were often seen displayed for sale outside houses in country villages.