Bodkin needles (2) - Morse Ivory - Second half 19th century

Bodkin needles (2) - Morse Ivory - Second half 19th century

Two beautiful carved needles, known among collectors as bodkin needles.

A bodkin is a sewing tool used by sailors to repair bags, clothing and canvas (sailcloth). Napoleonic prisoners of war, sailors and whalers made such tools from simple materials available on board of a ship or in the port, and they regularly used whale bone, baleen, marine ivory and ox bone to cut objects for their own use, on board or as a gift for a loved one at home. These two needles are made of walrus tooth. The modern English term bodkin is derived from the Middle English word boedekyn, which may have been derived from the Celtic word biodag, which means a dagger. Length of the items: 12 and 12.5 cm. These items are only sold in Europe.

A similar lot was sold at this auction on 17 May 2020.

Lot details
No. of items
Bodkin needles
Morse Ivory
Estimated Period
Second half 19th century
Country of Origin
Excellent condition - barely used with minimal signs of aging & wear
0×0×12,5 cm
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