COLLECTION: Tools & Equipment

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Tape Measure and Pin Cushion

ca. 1880
Origin: Europe
OH: 4" x OW: 1 1/2"
Bone, vegetable ivory (tagua) , silk, velvet
Anonymous gift.
Acc. No. 1971-3471,14
This is a carved vegetable ivory (tagua) tape measure with a red silk velvet pin cushion on top. It also has an bone stem and a blue silk tape measure that can be pulled out.
Label:This needlework tool has the dual function of a pincushion and tape measure. It is made of a material derived from the nuts of South American palm trees. Called vegetable ivory because of its resemblance to animal ivory, it was often used to create buttons, sewing tools and small souvenirs during the nineteenth century. This beautifully carved object marries aesthetics with usefulness.
Provenance:Ex coll: Tomlinson