Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Ale at the Foundling Hospital

A month or two ago, I visited the Threads of Feeling Exhibition at London's Foundling Museum. The Foundling Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, London's first home for abandoned children.

The exhibition consisted of 5,000 small swatches of fabric dating from the middle of the eighteenth century. They are pinned to the registration documents that recorded the entry of each baby to the hospital. They were kept by the hospital as a means of establishing an identifyable link between the child and its mother.

Among the scraps of material were other similar tokens left as identification. The one above was among them. It leaves an unknown story. Who was the mother ? How did she come by this token ? What became of the child ?

A poignant representation of a bygone age.

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