A very rare and unusual pincushion from the early 19th century. Unusual because of the material and decoration. We have been retailing antique sewing accessories for over 20 years, and can hand on heart say we have never seen a similar example.
This extremely rare example came with another identical dance book example, sold separately. Each piece comes with fantastic provenance, from the collective sale of a deceased English sewing tool collector and retailer of over 40 years who was well known and respected in the antique sewing tool world, she will be sadly missed.
The oval steel or iron top of the pincushion is expertly prepared and etched. The shine is almost mirror like. The intaglio/cut away sections then buttery gilded to create the most wonderful effect. We see a rural scene of a church or monastery among trees. In the foreground a river with fisherman. To create this work of art must have been a very long winded and intricate process upon the metal plate. The nearest process that we can match this too is the decorative etched process called Niello, perfected in Tula, Russia. Also the Tula Factory just outside Moscow was the centre for armour production during the reign of Peter the Great, master craftsman would produce exquisitely engraved arms and armour. Later in the 18th century the same manufacturers expanded their arms production to include domestic wares. Suffice to say that the scene in the centre is definitely Eastern European, Russian, Baltic etc with the onion top churches which would fit in with our theory.
The back and sides covered in its original deep green velvet. Three antique handmade pins remain in the side.
Size: 1.75 inch by 1.25 inch (4 cm by 3.5 cm)
Condition: Very good and bright with just a few tiny areas of verdigris/oxidization to the metal.
A supremely rare example to add to your antique sewing tool collection. When will you see another?
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Rarest 19th Century Cut Steel and Gilt Pin Cushion, Pincushion, Niello, Tula Ware C 1840
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