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Rare Straw Work Bodkin Case, c1820
This is a delightful example of straw work, possibly made by French prisoners-of-war early in the 19th century, and this example would date to c1820. It is a case for holding bodkins which were used for threading ribbon or cord in previous generations. The decoration is of coloured strips and small pieces of straw which have been glued onto a basic card carcass. It opens in the centre and the inner sleeve is also decorated with straw. The different colours were obtained by various treatments to the straw to create these patterns. The piece does have some scattered areas of loss of the straw at the junction where the two halves join and at each end which can be seen in the images – but when looking at the piece these are not very obvious and do not detract from its interest and attractiveness. This would make a lovely addition to a collection of early needlework pieces or items related to the French prisoners-of-war. Maximum length 4.9 ins (12.5cm) Maximum width 0.63 ins (1.6cm) Depth 0.43 ins (1.1cm) Weight 10 grams. This item appears in my book, “Antique Boxes, Inside and Out” on page 299.
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Genevieve Cummins, Sydney, Australia
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