BUT THEN... upon a closer inspection...
Names of people, of places, and even dates! "How curious!" I thought. "What a strange and fantastic textile pattern." I wore it the very next day and was peering down at the dates when I noticed spots along the hem which appeared like ink spots. And a few signatures barely legible.
Could these be ACTUAL signatures? Not a textile print? Later that afternoon I rushed back into the vintage shop and inquired about the origins of the skirt. And here is what I was told...
"The skirt was purchased at an estate of a lady who had worn it during her travels, and when she traveled, if she met some interesting and friendly folks, she would have them sign her skirt. The illustrations were all hand drawn and hand painted. Some of the signatures have faded away since she didn't always have the right pen. But, yep, all those signatures are authentic!"
Now... as someone who has always answered the question "What do you love about vintage?" with "Because I become a part of the story of this garment of clothing"... this little back story to my vintage skirt made me feel like I had sprouted wings and was dancing on cloud 9 with the vintage gods.
I flitted and floated on home and was very extremely tempted to twirl my way down the sidewalk past curious onlookers as I literally skipped home.
For those that sell and collect vintage, this is what it's all about isn't it? That happy magical feeling when you know you now possess something so special to someone at one point in time and you'll treasure it as much as she previously had.
And yes, I will be adding my signature to the skirt. :)