These bookmarks are made from sustainably produced leather from Tuscany in Italy. Each bookmark is lined with an original silk escape map from the Cold War. As these maps are limited and original, map placement will differ from the photograph depending on where the fabric is cut.
Dimensions 22cm x 5cm
Each bookmark comes with a small envelope explaining the story of the maps.
Escape maps were the creation of Clayton Hutton, an eccentric MI9 British Army Officer during WW2. Hutton had maps printed onto silk as it doesn’t degrade in water and also doesnt rustle like paper. The maps were issued to the military throughout WW2 and beyond; with troops hiding maps inside the lining of their uniform or hollowing out the heel of their boot and hiding the map there. If they were captured or shot down, they then had a map so they could try and escape and find their way home. All the escape and evade items in the collection are made from genuine issue, rescued maps from the Cold War.
Many of our maps were sourced from an ex-Royal Engineers soldier. He started his army career as a private and worked his way up through the ranks to become a commissioned officer. During the 1960s he was told to clear out the regimental stores and ‘get rid’ of boxes and boxes of maps. The maps dated from WW2 to the start of the Cold War; they had been such a success during WW2 that the Military continued to print them into the 1950s. Being the resourceful chap that he was, the Engineer ‘got rid’ of the maps by storing them in his loft, where they stayed until he contacted a friend of Sara Jane from Home Front Vintage, who passed them onto her, and now to Nat Thakur. Thanks to him the story of the maps go on.