Tape Loom

Collection Type

  • Textiles






Arched crest with three projecting half-circles carved with curve-sided devices, crest carved with "S" and circle motif, concentric band of dots and half "flower" device; over pierced loom section which is flanked by carved scalloped border; base is baluster-shaped carved with foliate scrolls, grooves and flowerhead; plain square maple foot.


Descriptive Terms

looms (textile tools)
oak (wood)
carving (processes)
Loom, Tape


Tape looms were used by weavers, men or women, who held the looms between their knees as they worked. The looms produced strips of fabric called “tapes” roughly an inch wide, that could be ornamental or plain, and were used for everything from garters to binding. Like the carved box nearby, the tape loom is part of a group of carved seventeenth-century objects that is thought to be the product of two joiners who worked in Ipswich, Massachusetts, in the second half of the seventeenth century, William Searle (1611-1667) and Thomas Dennis (1638-1706). Dennis probably trained with Searle in Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire, England, before the two immigrated to New England.


NFL jelly label in red ink at side of base: ""18.19 [old accession number] Tape loom attributed to Thomas Dennis of Ipswich 17th century"".

Associated Building

Original to Cogswell's Grant (Essex, Mass.),


Attributed to Dennis, Thomas, 1638 C-1706 (Maker)
Possibly Searle, William

Location of Origin

Ipswich, MA, USA


32 1/2 x 9 3/4 x 9 1/4 (HxWxD) (inches)

Credit Line

Gift of Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little

Accession Number



Massachusetts (United States)

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