sew, sew, sew your boat… no, no, no

it’s … as ye sew, so shall ye rip

Additional sewing instruments from the 1800s that you may find interesting, beginning with needle cases and needle case with bone needles…


These needle cases are carved from ivory and bone.

These needle cases are carved from ivory and bone.The umbrella-shaped case is especially interesting for a couple of reasons: 1) the clenched fist at the top. One of the publications I read said that the clenched fist was a sign that the ship’s captain used. Let’s say they were in port and in a pub - by raising his clenched fist, he let other guests know that he was the captain of the ship. 2) The clenched fist has a small dot on the hand. Actually that dot is a “Stanhope.” When peering into the dot, a port scene is visible.


The Stanhope was invented in France by a man named Stanhope. When you find things from that period, always look for a dot. It could be a Stanhope.

I have to say, this needle case is one of my favorite items in the estate antique collection. This needle case is carved from bone. When the lid is removed, all sorts of bone needles, fids and bodkins are contained within. Bodkins are used for drawing ribbon or cording through a casing. Several shapes and styles are shown here.

thumbelina, thumbelina ~ no, no, no ...

these are thimbles

These thimbles are adorned with scrimshaw, i.e. images have been carved into the ivory then painted to show the detail.


There will be many more sewing implements to talk about. I packed them; now I just have to find them.