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Antique French .800/1000 Silver Vermeil Sewing Set in Leather Case, Etui
The beauty of the old French sewing sets always thrills me. I know that these sets were treasured and used and carry with them the memory of conversations, laughter, sadness and joy - having been witness to generations of same as their owner weilded them in creating "womens' art" - the needle arts. This one has been well used, presents to us missing the bodkin (large needle) and also a silk spool that would have rested in the recess underneath the scissors' handle. The thimble is, I'm quite sure, a replacement, and would have had a gem top like carnelion or perhaps lapis, which is no longer there. You might wish to replace it with another, but it is the one that came with this set and we'll leave it together as we found it. The scissors has beautiful silver work handles, but the old steel blades have badly corroded in this set, making this one more to be seen than used, and impacting the value too. The original scissors, stiletto and needle case remain a testament to the silversmith's creativity and excellence of design. They are beautiful!
Good to very good condition for age and type. the case is in very good condition, leather is nicely preserved, as is the claret red silk velvet interior. The implements vary and are noted as above paragraph says, varying stages of use, deterioration to steel blades on scissors. The thimble is not original, I think (varying pattern in Greek key) and it misses the gem inset top which would have been something like carnelian or lapis, quartz of some color. The set is light gold, or 'vermeil', a layering of 18k gold over .800/1000 pure silver, as noted by the small profile of a boar's head, the mark we find that is French guarantee for .800 silver content, dating c.1838 and afterward. A nice set for the collector, perhaps a bit of a project to find suitable thimble and bodkin, silk winder to complete it.
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San Marcos, CA
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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