Date: c. 1944
Fabric: Silk satin, cotton batting
Brand: Carlin Comforts for Saks Fifth Avenue
Carlin Comforts Inc. was founded in New York City in 1924 by two women, Mrs. Nancy Goodstein and Mrs. Janet May, who at that time considered themselves to be “the only shop in American devoted solely to the sale of fine comforters, blankets and their accessories.” The pair’s success brought the business to Saks Fifth Avenue in 1928, where they continued to produce bridal linens advertised in publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Town & Country.
In addition to a large quilt (not photographed), this set of Carlin Comforts lingerie cases date to the 1940s. Their intended use was to house undergarments and hosiery, especially during travel, and may include a pocket intended for a scented sachet.
This set is believed to have belonged to Kathleen Agnes Cavendish (née Kennedy). Also known as “Kick” Kennedy, she was born in the year 1920 to Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and Rose Kennedy. She was married in May 1944, and died in a tragic plane crash in 1948.
These lingerie cases are believed to be a part of her bridal trousseau, and each item is embroidered with the name “Kathleen.” It was a fashionable practice in the mid-twentieth century for a bride to emblazon her linens and other personal items with her monogram or a stylized design of her first name.
This set of lingerie cases was previously part of the textile collection of Judith Howard.
Many thanks to Summer Lee for the object description and research.
From the collection of The Underpinnings Museum