In Praise of Old Technology: the Sewing Box

For those who are so misfortunate as to have never encountered one, allow me to provide a definition. A sewing box is a toolbox for needlework. It may take the form of a box, a basket, or – if one happens to have friends with deep pockets and dainty taste – an elegant table, an egg, or even a converted walnut shell. (In the case of the person with deep pockets and no taste, there is such a thing as a rhino foot sewing box.)

Painting: a woman sits by a table sewing. On the table is an open sewing box. On the floor beside her is a basket of sewing, possibly mending.

I have recently managed to acquire one of these delectable items (a box, not the disjecta membra of maimed African megafauna) and I don’t know how I managed for so long without one.

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The Most Gorgeous Table of All Time

Behold, the glories of the Auckland War Memorial Museum’s work (i.e. sewing) table.

Work table (AM 1964.40-1)

This elegant piece of furniture is embellished with gilded lacquer and furnished with ivory implements (made back in the day when elephants were a lot more populous than at present).

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