This precious and intriguing World War II pilot’s escape map silk handkerchief represented an interesting challenge as the customer wanted to see both sides.
We could simply have sandwiched the silk handkerchief between two pieces of mount card, but instead decided to suspend the entire piece in the frame. This ensured that the full effect of the edges could be seen, and there was no chance of the delicate silk fabric touching the glass, which could result in condensation ruining the historic piece.
Full conservation methods were used, and the internal edges were finished off with a fabric that appears to exactly match the well-chosen frame, reminiscent of the materials associated with the history of World War II.
During World War II the Allied Forces produced more than 3.5 million silk and cloth maps to aid military personnel to escape. These were often sewn into the lining of coats and uniforms to avoid discovery. This example illustrates all the deep creases and detritus of being in an active airman’s pocket!