This wonderful souvenir pincushion from the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1900 is printed with a detailed picture of the magnificent exhibition hall devoted to textiles and clothing, the "Palais des Fils, Tissus & Vetements." You can see tiny figures flocking through the towering arched doorways, curved ironwork balustrades on the stairs of the main entrance which is draped inside with opulent curtains, colorful banners whipping in the wind, and even a sculpture in the garden outside. Just grand.
The 'Exposition Universelle de 1900' was poised on the cusp of a new century. Fifty-seven million visitors (!) flocked to Paris that summer to see the fair which featured not only wonders of the present age, but also many marvels of progress and technology yet to come. On display were moving sidewalks, wireless telegraphy, the first escalator, and the most powerful telescope built to date. The 'Paris Universal Exhibition' truly ignited the imagination of the world.
CONDITION is remarkable, it looks to have never been used for its intended purpose, but rather kept carefully as a treasured souvenir. The printing and construction were superior in their day, and remain so, with only some tiny spots of foxing. Measures 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" approximately, not including the corner loops of twisted trim.
I can't imagine many of these silk beauties survived the 100+ ensuing years, but when I look into its marvelous scene, I am transported back to a place and time where anything and everything seemed possible. I'm standing on the steps gazing in through the grand curtains - and look - I can buy a little pincushion to take home. Enjoy!
A Felicitous Gathering of Curious Goods
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