London: S[arah]. Burgess, Printer, 1915-1920.
Unbound. A collection of mostly 36 World War I-era broadside napkins. Each approximately 14" x 14". All thin paper or tissue, printed in black or blue with text and illustrations of nobility, politicians, soldiers, flags, medals, and ships, surrounded by colorful borders of flowers, ivy, and birds. Each contemporarily mounted on salmon-colored cardstock. Overall near fine with light wear at the edges and faint bleed through from glue used in mounting; a few with moderate edgewear.
A group of souvenir napkins printed in London by S. Burgess between 1915 and 1920 and largely related to English involvement in the war. The two earliest were issued in 1915 to commemorate Lord Kitchener’s review of the London National Guard Volunteer Corp and the execution of Capt. Charles Fyratt following his attempted ramming of a German U-boat by the Steamer *Brussels*. Also commemorated is a “Great Meeting” to discuss the recent bombing of London, services attended by the King and Queen for the Welsh Prisoner of War Fund, two wartime Trafalgar Day celebrations, Belgian Independence Day, Victory in France, Remembrance Day, welcome home celebration for the Scots Guards, London “Anzac Day,” and the signing of the Peace Treaty. Also included are napkins celebrating the wartime marriages of several members of the royalty, such as George Mountbatten to a Russian Princes, and the establishment of various war shrines.
Each of these broadside napkins is uncommon. While some occasionally come to market or are found in contemporary scrapbooks, most are heavily creased and toned. Whoever collected these had the forethought to preserve them flat. Unsurprisingly, *OCLC* locates only seven such napkins by this printer and only one from this collection. A detailed is is available.