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The first card shows three people from Friesland in Niedersachsen drinking tea, and the following two cards show women from from the Friesian island of Föhr in the North Sea (part of Schleswig-Holstein). The Friesians once lived along the entire southern, eastern and northern coasts of the North Sea and they speak their own language: Fries (Frysk). Each district or island in North Friesland (which is the Friesian area in Germany) had its own distinctive dress, some plainer or more colourful than others. The costume of the island of Föhr is the most charming of all; the long white apron on the dark dress, the big silver ornaments on the breast and the folded scarf-cap together give a very elegant appearance. In the old days the accessories for the valuable clothes were collected by the sailors from everywhere in the world, even a part of Scottish tartan is applicated.
The last two cards show people from Vierlanden (this card is in pretty bad condition) and from Hamburg, repectively. The Vierlanden region was the vegetable and fruit garden for Hamburg; a seller wearing the Vierländer costume was considered as a guarantee for the best quality products on all markets in Hamburg. The costume was very much used in advertisements at the beginning of the 20th century. The female costume from Vierlanden is very colourful, with lovely ornamental embroidery on the bodice, short skirts and straw hats kind of turned upside down with a large black bow underneath. The male costume is black with a red vest and a high top hat; the vests have dozens of silver buttons. The last card shows a serious citizen from Hamburg with a humoristic song in German.
All cards come from my own traditional costume collection; because of space shortage, I sell parts of it here on Etsy.
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