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Vintage Carved Ivory Thimble by John von Hoelle

Vintage Carved Ivory Thimble by John von Hoelle
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Home » Store » Sewing Sets & Etuis » A116 » Antique Ivory Cased Silver Gilt Sewing Etui * French * Circa 1850

The elegant tools in this French necessaire are nestled into the precisely carved out interior of the lovely oval case, carved from a solid piece of real ivory. The matching pieces are all gilded silver and engraved with very fine textured designs. The set consists of scissors, needlecase, pencil, penknife/nail tool, bodkin and thimble. Everything fits the case perfectly and it's obvious they all belong there. The tools have the boar's head hallmarks used on Parisian silver from 1838.

The scissors (3 5/8" long) have tight blades, sharp points and cut well. The thimble is in nice condition with no holes or damage, though the gilding is rubbed. Any jeweler can fix that. It's about an American size 7-8 (14.7 mm diameter opening). The scissors have a small dent below one bow, but the tools are all in otherwise perfect condition. The knife blades are still shiny and sharp and snap back in as they should. The propelling pencil works well and twists out the lead. The seal on top unscrews and extra lead is stored underneath (size 0.9). Oddly, the lead is blue.

The ivory case has a lovely old patina and ivory grain. There are no chips, cracks or other damage. The hinge is strong and the push button mechanism works well. It measures 4 1/2" by 2 3/8" and has a scrimshawed medallion on the top. It may be a monogram but I can't make out the letters. The bottom of the case is stamped with the name of the English importer "38 Picadilly Leuchars". *

* Leuchars was established at 47 Piccadilly, London in 1794 by James Leuchars. In 1820, the business moved to 38 Piccadilly. In 1837, the same year as Queen Victoria came to the throne, the firm was awarded the Royal Warrant for their supply of dressing cases to the royal family. Expanding to 39 Piccadilly in 1841, the name now changed to Lucy Leuchars & Son. The firm was sold to Asprey in 1888.