Monday, 7 March 2016

Oh no, not avarice

Don't you want to touch it?
Do you like it? Do you want it? Greed? Avarice? Envy?
I wonder if you were brought up to believe that it is sinful to want something? I was. Talk about keeping people in their place!!!

Growing up in the 1950s it was very important to be good, obedient, respectful, and religious in my town. All the children I knew went to church or Sunday school or something similar. We were taught at home, at school, and in the community to honour our parents, never to swear, and not to be jealous or greedy. People did not have a lot of money and to say that you wanted something put pressure on families to provide it. That was considered disrespectful, unfair, and sinful. Nothing like society today! Today children are instructed to make lists of things they want, especially for Christmas and birthdays.
The sewing tools are reflected in the mirror.

So ... I saw these photos and was very very close to being greedy. Yes, I like this object and I would definitely like to own it or something similar. Shame! Horror! Greedy! Wickedness! Bad, bad. This sin used to be called avarice.

Somehow I think that sins do not exist in the religion of today. Or at least they do not have names. Society is now taught to disregard personal feelings of guilt.

This lid of this absolutely beautiful sewing kit is made from a pearl shell 16 cm by 13 cm which is large but not huge. Inside the lid is a mirror. Really this is a small cabinet with the sewing kit in the top and two drawers underneath. The sides and base are engraved gilt. Inside the lining is made of blue silk. Somehow I doubt that this box was ever used at all. It is dated at around 1815 and was possibly made in Paris. (I think it was made in China based on the design on the handles of the scissors.)

And yes, the lovely pieces inside are again something to dream about. The discs are actually the lids of small boxes, the same as many from Palais Royale and so are the thread winder and the needle case. If you look carefully at the crystal bottle you can see a metal object in the middle. That expands to become a tiny telescope, or it could become a sort of microscope. The scissors are like those you can buy from Sajou, except that the Sajou scissors have plastic handles. I think I have seen similar stilettos but that thimble is certainly wonderful.

You can find these photos at Collectors Weekly
I followed some of the links but could not locate a shop, owner, or the name of the person who took the photos.


  1. You can admire with out coveting surely?!

    1. Very good point, Phil. To be honest though, after I saw these photos I spent quite a substantial amount of time looking at other beautiful sewing accessories. And mother of pearl objects. I think it was absolute greed on my part. Fortunately I did not make any purchases, but it was close.


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