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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1965T669
Collection:Social History - Pinto Collection
Date:1600 - 1800


Slickenstones, or linen smoothers, were used to smooth creases out of damp linen after it had been washed and starched. They are usually made of glass or marble, and this one made out of Lignum vitae is a rare survival. It dates from the 17th or early 18th century and has a finely carved head of an African woman. The level of skill required to make this piece together with the material used, indicate that it was probably a commissioned piece made for a wealthy person.

Purchased from Edward H Pinto, 1965.

Further Information

Production Period:17th century or 18th century
Medium:Turned and carved.
Material(s):Lignum vitae wood
Place of Origin:England


Height:17.6 cm
Depth:13.8 cm