Pin Boxes and Cushions

Pins are objects today that we take for granted, but have existed since man first walked the earth, when they were fashioned from thorns, fish bones or simply carved from wood. As metals were developed, starting with bronze, so the pin developed. Its manufacture and design thereafter became increasingly complex and its unit cost fell. Pin themselves form a collecting field, from early Egyptian, Saxon, Roman and medieval pins through to pin papers - a sheet of paper neatly laid out with rows of pins that were given as change for small amounts of money, giving rise to the term 'pin money', i.e. a very small amount. In the early years of pin production, centres of manufacture developed and these were often fiercely protected by guilds or Royal decree. Pins were used not so much for needlework, but for securing clothing and it was inevitable that containers of all sorts would be developed. The range of pincushions, boxes and pin cases is too vast to examine in any detail here, but it is one of the most popular fields of collecting, the variety being almost endless, with novelties of any type being produced by the needlewoman herself, as well as the specialist maker. 

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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Buy our latest publication

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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Dorset Thimble Society International

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