About Me

My photo

I'm a textile fanatic.  If it has to do with fiber, it's for me.  I love my almost fourteen year old son, cats and sheep.  I love historical costuming and most days you'll find me researching or reproducing clothing from any one of many time periods that have caught my fancy.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Knitted Silk Pinballs

I've got to order the silk for this and a couple of other pincushions and bags, as well as the very fine needles that I'll need to make gauge.
First two are in the collections at Williamsburg.  All others are at the VAM.

Pinball with ring and chain

1808 probably (dated)
Origin: America, Mid-Atlantic (probably)
Pincushion ODiam: 7"; Chain ODiam: 7 7/8", Chain (including ring) OL: 17 "
Silk embellishment threads on linen with a silver ring and chain; stuffing material is unknown
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1996-106,A&B
This is an almost round pinball cushion worked in shades of green, blue, ivory, tan, yellow, pink, and rust silk embellishment threads on a linen ground. The pinball is made of two fabric sections sewn together over a stuffed ball cushion. The design is worked in tiny cross stitches and consists of Quaker-like geometric patterns on one side and sprays of flowers on the other. The pincushion is seamed together at middle. The date of 180? (Probably 1808) is barely visible at seam. The stuffing material is unknown. An unmarked silver ring and chain accompany pinball. The chain has a smaller ring at opposite end of pinball for attachment to a belt or chatelaine.
Stitches: cross over two, whip
Mark(s): Silver is unmarked. Pincushion is dated 180[?].
No provenance known prior to CWF purchasing pinball from vendor.

Knitted Pinball

1759 (dated)
Origin: England
D: 1 3/4"; Circumference: 5 5/8"; OL of braided loop: 9 1/4" Length of cord: 9 1/4"
Silk; stuffing material unidentified
Anonymous gift
Acc. No. 1971-1315
This is a knitted round pincushion or pinball of purple/brown and white/natural knitted silk. A braided cord composed of three six-strand groups (2 purple/brown and 1 white/natural) is sewn to the cushion where edges meet (possibly to hide seam). The long ends of the cord meet at top and are knotted together at their ends to form a loop measuring 9 1/4" long.
The pattern of the pinball consists of geometric designs--an eight-pointed star and triangles on reverse and on obverse triangles. The initials "EP" and date "1759" are embroidered (V) on top of ground.
The stitches are 28 per inch and 25 rows per inch.
Mark(s): "EP" "1759"
Early pincushions and pinballs were often highly decorated and reflected the high value placed on the pins themselves. The geometric patterns seen on this pinball are similar to ones found on later Quaker pinballs produced at the English Quaker boarding school Ackworth.
Ex collections: Tomlinson and Mrs. DeWitt Clinton Cohen

I couldn't find further info on the red and white pinball.
Pin cushionPin cushionPin cushionPin cushionPin cushion

Pin cushion

  • Place of origin:
    England, Britain (made)
  • Date:
    1733 (made)
  • Artist/Maker:
    unknown (production)
  • Materials and Techniques:
    Hand knitted silk and silver gilt thread
  • Credit Line:
    Bequeathed by Frank Ward

  • Museum number:

    Physical description

    This pincushion is in the shape of a small rectangular cushion. It is made from cream silk and silver gilt thread in patterned stocking stitch and decorated with motifs of birds, plants and geometric forms. The seams are covered with braid.

    Place of Origin

    England, Britain (made)


    1733 (made)


    unknown (production)

    Materials and Techniques

    Hand knitted silk and silver gilt thread


    Length: 16 cm, Width: 4.5 in, Width: 10.5 cm

    Descriptive line

    Pin cushion, hand-knitted silk and silver gilt thread, English, 1733

    Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

    Hinchcliffe, Frances. Knit One, Purl One: Historic and Contemporary Knitting from the V&A's CollectionLondon : Precision Press, 1985. Page 12.

    Exhibition History

    Knit One, Purl One (Victoria and Albert Museum 01/01/1985-31/12/1985)

    Labels and date

    Hand-knitted silk and silver-gilt thread
    English, dated 1733
    Both sides of this oblong pincushion are knitted in patterned stocking stitch. The reverse has an octagonal motif containing stylized carnations with four peacocks and the initials 'EW'. It is edged with plaited silver gilt cord to cover the join between the two halves.
    Bequeathed by Mr Frank Ward
    T.251-1960 [1985]




    Hand knitting


    Household objects; Tools & Equipment

    Collection code


No comments:

Post a Comment