This antique ivory pin cushion is engraved with patterns of Madras work dots and circles around both sides with a star like motif in the center. This is a form of scrimshaw work where black lacquer is flowed into the engraved designs. It is carved of ivory and has an exceptional patina and ivory grain pattern.
The condition is excellent with no chips, cracks or other damage and the lacquer designs are unusually intact, about the best I've ever seen. It has the original dark green silk cushion, also in great condition, and it's stuck with some very early coil headed, hand made steel pins. Extra silk ribbon has been used to create a loop so it could be slipped onto the wrist. The cushion measures almost 1 3/4" in diameter. It's English and dates to the early 19th century. A variety of ivory Madras work needlework tools are shown on p. 87 of Nerylla Taunton's book "Antique Needlework Tools and Embroideries".