Bodkin (Needle) Case with Tape Measure

Artist/maker unknown, English

Made in England, Europe
Possibly made in Birmingham, Europe

c. 1770

Enamel on copper with hand-painted decoration and traces of gilt decoration; metal mounts; silk tape

Height (excluding crank): 3 11/16 inches (9.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Richard P. Rosenau Collection, 1975

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This case was used to store a sewing implement called a bodkin. Shaped like an oversized sewing needle with a blunt point and large eye, a bodkin is used to pull a drawstring through a fabric casing. This case is made of enamel on copper, a medium designed to rival those made of more expensive materials such as gold and porcelain.