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Child's Printed Handkerchief "Jack the Giant Killer"
c. 1800 Child's Printed Cotton Textile Handkerchief headed, "Jack the Giant Killer," featuring vignette images depicting scenes from the British Fairy Tale of the same name, Likely American made, possibly British, Choice Very Fine.
This late 18th or early 19th Century, Red Printed on Textile measures about 10" x 7.75" and is made of a delicate and finely woven white cotton fabric. The fabric is well printed, clean and has no staining, soiling or foxing. It features twelve different scenes from the story, "Jack the Giant Killer," including images of at least seven different Giants (one, two and three headed variations).

Each scene is captioned with text such as "Jack Killing Giant Cormorant"; "Jack Outwitting the Welsh Giant"; "Jack Cutting Off a Giant's Head" (this is not a tale for the squeamish child); etc. The scenes are separated by a geometric pattern and there is a simple, printer's border around the edges. This early textile is undated and unsigned by the manufacturer but the style of the illustrations, date it to the late 18th or very early 19th century. The image are very similar to those found in very early, illustrated Chap Books of this classic story. A very rare and highly attractive, c. 1800 Printed Children's Handkerchief similar to several other examples illustrated in THREADS OF HISTORY, pages 80 and 129 (later issues) this specific design NOT LISTED IN "THREADS," also the first we have seen.

Jack the Giant Killer is a British fairy tale about a plucky Cornish lad who slays a number of giants during King Arthur's reign. The tale is characterized by violence, gore, and blood-letting. Giants are prominent in Cornish folklore and Welsh Bardic lore, but the source of Jack is unknown. Some parallels to elements and incidents in Norse mythology have been detected in the tale, and the trappings of Jack's last adventure with the giant Galigantus suggest the parallels with French fairy tales. Jack's belt is similar to the belt in The Valiant Little Tailor, and his magical sword, shoes, cap, and cloak are similar to those owned by Tom Thumb or found in Norse mythology. Neither Jack or his tale are referenced in English literature prior to the eighteenth century, and his story did not appear in print until 1711.
Table of Contents >> Historical >> Post-Revolutionary War to Civil War >>
Item #98660Price: $895.00Add to Cart
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