Old-Time Tools & Toys of Needlework


Old-Time Tools & Toys of Needlework

It was quite fashionable among the ladies of Marie Antoinette’s court to employ stilettos and punches for parfilage. They unpicked the gold and silver threads from the richly embroidered material of their gowns and cloaks. A set of bone bobbins was found in England with the Lord’s Prayer spirally incised phrase by phrase along each bobbin’s length. A clever French inventor designed a pair of scissors with eighteen different uses — screwdriver, nail file, cigar cutter, ruler, lid pryer, butto

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Needlework Antique Flowers

A romantic collection of 25 floral needlework projects from the author of Decorative Victorian Needlework. Inspired by actual perennial favorites and heirloom flowers, Bradley accurately charts old roses, pansies, tulips, lilies, snowdrops, poppies, peonies, and cheerful sunflowers. Brilliant color photographs shot on location in Provence highlight the timeless charm of these needlework designs. Full-color photographs.

List Price: $ 35.00

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2 Comments/Reviews

  • Jill McAlester says:
    38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Not a strong work, August 22, 2000
    By 
    Jill McAlester (Lawrence, KS) –

    This review is from: Old-Time Tools & Toys of Needlework (Paperback)
    Gertrude Whiting’s work, originally published in the early 1920’s, isn’t what I would call a great work of historical documentation. While there are many wonderful pictures of antique needlework tools, there are rarely any specific dates or time periods (other than “ancient” or “old”) assigned to many of them. One item is actually mis-identified…she includes a photo of a lucet (a two-pronged tool used to weave stout cords from yarn), and the caption describes it as a thread winder!
    Mrs. Whiting’s writing style is very similar to that of other books I have read from that time period. Her prose is flowery, and it reflects a very imerialistic mindset. She describes her adventures in the Far East with a very patronizing attitude. Her descriptions of Eastern needlework methods are adequate, but she sometimes does not differentiate between modern and historical techniques.
    If you’re really in to researching antique needlework tools, get this book for the pictures, but don’t rely too heavily on the text for information!

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  • Jane in Milwaukee "Needlework book aficionado" says:
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    I like this a little better than the other reviewer, February 5, 2015
    By 

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Old-Time Tools & Toys of Needlework (Paperback)
    Just to have 338 illustrations in a 1928 book is pretty amazing. When I first picked up this book, I didn’t find it very accessible. But upon further reading, I see that this woman’s passion for all things needlework gadget-wise is infectious. I googled Gertrude Whiting and looked for more info regarding the statement that she was an Honorary Fellow of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Fellow of the Institute Professional Neuchatelois de Dentelles: prestigious museum associations in two countries! I don’t know if this link will “stick” here but when I clicked on “Gertrude Whiting | Sampler | European | The Metropolitan …” (www.metmuseum.org/collection/…/227551), I found a gorgeous article of bobbin lace with 116 panels of different laces. She made this between 1912-1917 and it was donated to the Museum upon her death in 1951. Miss Whiting was the Founder and First President, 1916-1923, of the Needle and Bobbin Club and Bulletin.

    There is a pretty bobbin pictured on page 207 of this book. It’s No. 3 and just labeled “English (Buckinghamshire), walnut” but that’s about the handle. This is the famous Johnstone “spangle bobbin” that Miss Whiting hunted down for study and donation to the Museum. A .pdf file displays the wildly colorful spangle in which the article’s author carefully identifies 14 different types of glass and semi-precious stone beads.

    I appreciate the intricate details which bespeak Miss Whiting’s adoration of all her collection. Rather than marry and have a family as would have been presumed for her a century ago, she devoted her energy to artistic endeavors all culminating in this book. I love all the quotes, poems, contemporary paintings and the writings on the various tools pictured. From page 210, one bobbin says:

    “My mind is fixt
    I cannot rainge,
    I love my choice
    Too well to change.”

    How amusing! I don’t care that she was unable to drill down to the exact place and date of origin all the time. With the sheer number of items included, she did an amazing job of groundbreaking research.

    This book would be immeasurably more enjoyable if all–or at least some–of the illustrations were in color and a little more sharp in detail. But we’d have to travel to the Met to see them in such detail.

    Give credit to the ubiquitous Dover Publications for providing new editions of this great book.

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