The biggest mystery surrounding Kensitas flowers concerns the questions that everybody wants answered.
Where were they woven? Who designed them?
Many guesses have been made.
The first that they were woven in Coventry and the factory and the records were destroyed in the Second World war. The County Archivist of Warwickshire and also the Keeper of Industry at The Herbert museum in Coventry, both confirm that, although Coventry had a large silk weaving industry, there is no evidence to suggest Kensitas silks were produced there. The firm of J. J. Cash which is still in existence (producing amongst other things name tags for sewing into childrens school clothing) again draws a blank.
One of the largest cigarette card dealers in America - Franklyn Roberts - suggests on his webpage that "Kensitas silks were woven by mid-european peasant labour on primitive looms". Other people have suggested that they were woven in Eastern Europe but offer no firm evidence.
What is evident is that Kensitas copied some of their designs from an issue that was made some seven years earlier. Although these earlier silks had a black background and were woven in different colours they are otherwise identical. Some of the black silks have, additionally, the name of the flower and the flowering period woven on the design. The names of the flowers are in DUTCH.
The issuer was The Turkish-Macedonian Tobacco Company in Holland
Some of the copied designs are illustrated. In addition to the illustrations there also exist, in black, Aster, Nasturtium, Pansy, Poppy, Water Lily and others, clearly showing that the silks originated on the Continent.
Copyright © 1999-2011 [Ray Wilmshurst].
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