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Vegetable Ivory
A small collection of vegetable ivory thimble holders.The kernels are picked up from the ground after the ripe fruit has detached from the tree and forest animals have taken care of the pericarp, or harvested when ripe and the pericarp manually removed. As the nut shrinks when it hardens a small hollow cavity can form in the centre. It is often not possible to know whether the inside of the nut will have a small cavity in the centre until it is cut into. Therefore, when carving, it is common to either incorporate the hole or cavity into carvings or not carve deep enough to reach a potential cavity. For many years people have been using vegetable ivory to make a variety of items.The tagua nut from South America was brought to England in small quantities during the 1820s and 1830s. Toys, umbrella handles, and carvings were made from the nuts. A few tons made it to Germany in the late 1850s. By 1862 button factories were being established in France and England, in Leeds, Massachusetts in 1864, in Canada in 1870, and by the German-American Button Company Rochester, New York in the early 1880s. By 1887, it was recorded that two or three million nuts were used each year by the factories in London and Birmingham, England. During the Victorian age many items were crafted by hand-carving or turning on an ornamental or conventional lathe; included were thimbles and thimble cases with threaded lids, needle cases with threaded lids, tape measures with spindles, ear rings, dice, and rings. Most of these were highly ornamented. All these are C19th examples.
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V2)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V2)
Features of this example are: screw top, pear shaped, of plain design with polished finish. Only exterior decoration is a petal to base. lovely colour and markings....(more details)
53.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V1)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V1)
Features of this example are: screw top, shaped to represent a drum, thimble post inside, patterned brass thimble included. Slightly lighter colour than some, finely carved and decorated....(more details)
58.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V3)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V3)
Features of this example are: screw top, turned to a pear shape, completely plain except for a daisy carved shape to base, but really well polished and complete with "stork" top....(more details)
40.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V4)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V4)
Features of this example are: screw top, filigree carved base, circles and crescents pattern to the top which also has a knop where a Stanhope was probably located....(more details)
32.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V5)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V5)
Features of this example are: screw top, acorn shape with a polished top and plain design, the base terminating in a knop below criss-cross patterning. Cracked base....(more details)
22.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V6)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V6)
Features of this example are: screw top, classic acorn shape, the top being plain and polished with knop top, the base being geometrically carved to the same pattern throughoutand a knop to base....(more details)
42.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V7)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V7)
Features of this example are: screw top, acorn shaped, the base shaped to a point, then well polished centre section, to criss-cross engraving, the top polished, to pointed top, with ribbing....(more details)
42.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V8)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V8)
Features of this example are: screw top, with foliage and deep engraving, small section chipped, the remainder polished. Base with criss-cross pattern and polished section leading to double turned end....(more details)
38.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V9)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V9)
Features of this example are: screw top, acorn shaped example, ribbed top with small knop, and well polished section, the base completely plain with polished finish, containing plastic thimble. The vegetable ivory is of cream colour....(more details)
47.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V10)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V10)
Features of this example are: screw top, smaller than some, acorn shape, knop top, nicely decorated with some fine work....(more details)
42.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V11)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V11)
Features of this example are: screw top, acorn shaped, knop top, well decorated to all parts with good engraving, slightly lighter colour than some....(more details)
42.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V12)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V12)
Features of this example are: screw top, stylised acorn shape, the top well decorated with sharp and fine relief, a knop top, and polished surface, the base completely plain and well polished with a pedestal foot....(more details)
42.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V13)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V13)
Features of this example are: screw top, acorn shape, hole punctures to top and base next to each other when assembled. Small knops to top and base, base well carved whilst top is plain and polished. Smaller example....(more details)
47.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V14)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V14)
Features of this example are: screw top, unusual barrel turned shape with matching pattern of ribbing to top and bottom, otherwise polished....(more details)
52.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V15)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V15)
Features of this example are: screw top, pear shaped example, plain but for daisy pattern to base, good polishing and markings, slightly smaller than average example....(more details)
37.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V16)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V16)
Features of this example are: screw top, acorn shaped, the top being very plain and well polished, the base with vertical carving to polished area and knop. Inside a brass thimble....(more details)
47.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V17)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V17)
Features of this example are: screw top, carved to a jar shape, on pedestal foot, with decoration to both the top and base....(more details)
47.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V18)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V18)
Features of this example are: screw top, shaped as a tub, patterned and carved top and sides with pedestal foot....(more details)
47.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V19)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V19)
Features of this example are: screw top, traditional acorn shape but somewhat stylised, combination of sharp and delicate carving, with small knops to top and base....(more details)
47.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V20)Vegetable Ivory Needle Case (V20)
Features of this example are: screw top, tub shaped example, pedestal foot, lovely colour to a plain turned exterior with good markings. Knop top....(more details)
42.00View More Details
Vegetable Ivory Needle CaseVegetable Ivory Needle Case
Features of this example are: screw top, acorn shape, the top with vertical pattern design, knop top, and polished section, the base acanthus pattern and knop. Contains steel thimble...(more details)
52.00View More Details

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