Wednesday, July 27, 2016

How About Tape Measures??

Last sold at Christies in June, 1987 (picture)
For many of us, 'toys' are the same as 'needlework tools', aren't they?  So I want to bring up some really cool needlework tools made from these techniques that are discussed for the Design Contest.  This one is pretty lovely, it is a measuring tape that is made as the bottom of a needlelace set of flowers with a butterfly resting in the spray.

But I could just as easily see this worked in a combination of lacets and needlelace as well as silk covered wires.

A rare 5 1/4” tall revolving tape measure in silks and silver thread in buttonhole stitch with a butterfly resting in a spray of dog roses, the parchment tape in the needlework ball below unwinds as the wired decorative stand is turned. The tape is inscribed:  Take this small present at my hand who am your servant to command Mary Hanny 1687.

This piece was painted and published in a book in 1926, listed as being owned at that time by Mr. Percival Griffiths.

Of course, it goes without saying that if you know where this is - give me a holler!!

Painting from Plate XIX E of Seligman
and Hughes, Domestic Needlework of
same object in 1926. 
There is also another tape measure that is fun to look at and it uses some of the expanded bullion technique in its turning method.  This one is part of the set of casket toys from the National Museum of Scotland casket.  The tape is written on two pieces of parchment and says:  

(1) The God above vouchsafeth store.  To hi in fault that prayeth therefore:  But for his quirts you thankless run: Their wealth shall waste as wax in Sunn.

(2) Aske what thou wilt and though shat have:  if though in Christ yu same do crave: For Christ thy mediator sees when tough to him doest fall in knees.

 It is interesting to see how each is similar and yet different.  There appears in the second one to be a nut that is hollowed out as a form and holes in the top and bottom that the wires go through where the parchment is caught (either an end or the middle).  The parchment goes out a hole in the side.  The wire goes all the way through and is bent so it doesn't come out.  The wire can be turned to let out or pull in the tape.

So hopefully someone will design a fun tape measure/poem holder for their casket.  You could tell quite the story about your casket in this form!
National Museum of Scotland A.1961.502G

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