19th century brass sewing bird


“Sewing Bird” from the last quarter of the 19th century. These delightful accessories clamp to a table edge, and the bird’s beak opens to hold the fabric, making it easier to embroider. This one is brass tarnished to a deep bronze; it could be polished but has a lovely patina.The stamp on the wings reads “PATENTED FEB 15 1853″ but it’s a different mold from other birds I have since the quatrefoil at the bottom of the screw is symmetrical, without the indentation found on most others.

The condition is excellent except for the missing cushions. The small emery cushion on the bird’s back could easily be replaced, but the large cushion is completely gone– it would have been atop the corner of the clamp. It was cleanly snapped off, and you might not know it had even been there.  Every inch of the metal is covered with intricate repoussé patterns of floral and geometric motifs. The screw clamp works smoothly and the squeeze-hinge to open the bird’s mouth works easily.

Overall, it measures 4-7/8″ high from the top pincushion to the bottom of the clamp; the bird is about 3-3/4″ long and 2” across the wings.

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