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Knitting Sheath

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1965T718
Collection:Social History - Pinto Collection
Date:1600 - 1750


Knitting sheaths supported the weight of the knitting and stopped stitches slipping off the bottom of a double-ended needle. They were generally worn in the belt, on the right side, in a sloping position.They ranged from crudely whittled affairs to masterpieces of 'fine art', and were usually individually made and decorated by their makers to give as love tokens. This 18th century, boxwood, knitting sheath is widely acknowledged as a masterpiece of carving. It was probably made in France or Italy. The sheath does not appear to have been used and it has doubtless always been cherished as a work of art rather than as a functional object.

Purchased from Edward H Pinto, 1965.

Further Information

Production Period:17th century or 18th century
Place of Origin:Italy or France


Height:19.1 cm
Width:3 cm
Depth:1.5 cm