What a fabulous find - a late 19th century traveler's pincushion made of the Catlinite! These are rarely discovered - traveler's pin cushions come apart into two sections for easy packing and storage.
This one is made of Catlinite, a red clay found in Minnesota. It is also known as pipestone, and was considered a sacred red clay which American Indians used for making prayer and ceremonial pipes. Catlinite is found in only a very few places in the world, and the best quality comes from southwestern Minnesota.
The soft red of the Catlinite is so rich - the color striations of the natural clay show off beautifully. It's a simply turned form which makes this pincushion a stand-out.
This is an OLD pedestal pin cushion - the original long-ago velvet top is still intact, although the velvet nap has worn down to it's foundation over years of use. It dates back to the 1870s - 1900.
Condition is Very Good - except for a bit of loss at the bottom of the base, all is good. It is meant to come apart, as shown in the photographs.
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