On the whole, bodkins are simply large needles, sometimes as long as 6 or 8 inches. They were originally purely practical and used by both men and women for running in drawstrings and threading ribbons. They could be made of everyday materials such as wood or bone, but in higher echelons of society were made in silver or gold, sometimes ornamented with the initials of the owner and a date. Bodkins often feature earspoons, which were used for extracting human ear wax, used to wax the thread or cord to ease it's passage through the material. By the end of the 18th century, bodkins were smaller, usually about 3 or 4 inches and most commonly in silver. Sometimes they were modelled in the form of a fish or other suitable natural form and they also became a medium for commemorative subjects such as coronations or royal deaths. Bodkins cases, usually of cylinder form, echoed the size and material of the bodkins itself and ranged from the most humble to the elaborate and can range from just a few pounds to many hundreds.

Click on the catalogue below to our view our November 2023 Sewing Sale

Robert Bleasdale explores the origins and hidden secrets of this rare box that was sold in our November 2022  sale for £6520 - click on the box to learn more...

Click on the catalogue below to view the Summer Sewing Sale 15 June 2022

Click on the catalogue below to view the Winter Sewing Sale 2021

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Bleasdales' Winter Sale featured in 'Country Life'

Country Life - Feb 2016

'Country Life' journalist, Huon Mallalieu, captivated by Sewing curios - Read more...

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