Collecting sewing antiques and collectables
We have our own specialist dealer, Mike Loveday, as well as many of our cabinet dealers sell sewing related antiques.
Sewing antiques go back forever, you can still find really early items even from the 16th century for on the whole very reasonable prices. Recently we had an 17th century 15ct gold sewing needle. As with a lot of fine antiques the french were past masters in making fine sewing equipment, the word etui is the collective noun for a box or container to hold many sewing related items such as thimbles, needles, clamps and scissors.
Etuis are otfen made from the finest material such as gold, silver, pinchbeck and bronze. Even in the 1890s when aluminium was invented as you could make fine tracery, and at the time was valued more highly than gold as the new wonder material.
Often collectors go off in to very specific collecting areas such as scissors, thimbles, tapes, clamps etc let alone the sewing boxes themselves which go off into a whole subject on there own.
Bear in mind sewing was the internet of its days every lady and most children sewed and di petite point and tapestry, very much part of the social world and of course status hence why so many items made from fine materials.
Chatelaines were another area of collecting, a chatelaine was a chain full of necessary items such as keys, thimbles, scissors, cork screws, needles etc all the things a house keeper or lady of house would need to hand and hung from a belt again often made in high end materials right thought to cut steel.
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