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  • Place of origin:

    UK (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1947 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Appliqued and embroidered cotton

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Joan Laurance

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The design of the child carrying an exaggeratedly large banana, together with its accompanying slogan of 'Only a dream', clearly refers to food rationing during World War Two (1939-45), and in particular to the scarcity of bananas and other imported fruit during those years. Imports took up valuable resources such as fuel and manpower, and the ships which brought most of the imports were targeted by enemy bombs. The UK government needed to make sure that all possible resources went toward winning the war rather than protecting consume choice.

Physical description

Baby's oval bib of loose weave white cotton, with a scalloped edge buttonhole-stitched in blue except for the round neck, which is plain. The centre of the bib is decorated with an appliquéd image of a small child wearing a blue sleep suit and carrying a gigantic banana, above the words "ONLY A DREAM" embroidered in blue. The bib fastens at the neck back with tying tapes of white cotton.

Place of Origin

UK (made)


ca. 1947 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Appliqued and embroidered cotton


Length: 26.4 cm at centre

Object history note

Bought for the donor's daughter, Pamela Laurance (born 25/09/1947): given by Joan Laurance (RF 92/355)

Historical context note

The design of the appliqué clearly refers to food rationing, and in particular the scarcity of bananas and other imported fruit during World War Two.

Descriptive line

Baby's bib, cotton decorated with appliqué of a child with a banana; made in England, ca. 1947


Cotton (textile)


Appliqué; Embroidering

Subjects depicted

Rationing; Child; Banana


Children's clothes; Children & Childhood; Embroidery


Museum of Childhood

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