Etui Cases



Sometimes difficult to define in precise terms, an etui is a general French term given to a small box or case containing a small number of sewing tools. The variety of types and material of cases are almost infinite - silver, wood and ivory being the most common. The distinctive characteristic is the small number of tools, usually only a needlecase, scissors, bodkin, thimble and perhaps one or two small reels. Often these smaller boxes were designed to fit in the drawstring bags carried by ladies during travel so the larger workbox or table would remain at home. Other small types of sewing compendiums include the 'hussif', thought to be a derivation of the word 'housewife', which usually take the form of a materails roll or folding book, incorporating skein divisons, pincushion and related accessories. 

Click on the catalogue below to view our Summer Sewing Sale 2024

Winter Sewing Sale 2023

A Box of Secrets

Robert Bleasdale explores the origins and hidden secrets of this rare box that was sold in our November 2022 sale for £6500 - click on the box to learn more...

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