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Needlework Kit

1977.17 (RS1459)

Description

Fish shaped needlework case with silver scales. Small knife and scissors inside. In original fitted leather box.

Details

Label
"Cherished Possessions": This silver fish, as elegant as a piece of jewelry, conceals a utilitarian purpose-it contains a small scissors and knife for sewing. The kit belonged to Abigail, patriot Josiah Quincy's wife, who probably inherited it from her mother. This charming article reflects the useful work required of men and women of every class in New England-in this case an endless round of sewing and mending-as well as the relative comfort in which Mrs. Quincy lived.
Maker
unknown
Date
1765-1790
Inscriptions
"This fish was found/ in the jewelbox of/ Mrs. Abigail Quincy 1798/ It was said by her/ sisters Mrs. Dowse + Mrs. Shaw/ to have belonged to their mother/ Mrs. Abigail Bromfield Phillips" (Black ink)
Material
sharkskin
silver (metal)
Object type
Textileworking T&E
Descriptive terms
figure- and animal-derived motifs
housewives (containers)
Kit, Needlework
needlework (visual works)
sharkskin
Sharkskin
Silver
silver (metal)
Accession Number
1977.17
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Reginald Allen
GUSN
49427
Reference Notes
Sander, Penny. Elegant Embellishments. Boston; SPNEA; 1982.

Comments