Needlework Kit

Collection Type

  • Textiles

Date

1765-1790

GUSN

GUSN-49427

Description

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

Details

Descriptive Terms

housewives (containers)
needlework (visual works)
silver (metal)
sharkskin
figure- and animal-derived motifs
Silver
Sharkskin
Kit, Needlework

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.

Inscription

"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)

Maker

Unknown

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Reginald Allen

Accession Number

1977.17

Reference Notes

Sander, Penny. Elegant Embellishments. Boston; SPNEA; 1982.