Pin Cushion thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery

Pin Cushion

1670-1680 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
This pin cushion was among the contents of an embroidered casket used by a young girl, Martha Edlin, to store her small personal possessions. She would have embroidered it herself. It does not appear to have been used. It is worked in flame stitch, a technique also sometimes known as Irish stitch, Hungarian stitch, florentine stitch and bargello stitch, the variety of names indicating the uncertainty of its origins.

People
Martha Edlin (1660-1725) worked a series of embroideries during her childhood, including this jewellery case, which were cherished by her descendants and passed down through the female line in her family for over 300 years. We know little about her life, except that she married a man called Richard Richmond and appears to have been a prosperous widow living in Pinner in Greater London at the time she drew up her will, with daughters and grandchildren.

Materials & Making
Following the usual development of needlework skills in a young educated girl in the mid-17th century, Martha Edlin embroidered a sampler in coloured silks at the age of eight, and a more complicated piece in whitework and cutwork at nine. By 1671, her eleventh year, she had embroidered the panels of an elaborate casket, and two years later this beadwork jewellery case. The needlework skills she demonstrated in these pieces would be important attributes in her adulthood, in the management of her household and the making, mending and decoration of her own and her family's clothes.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Embroidered in silk thread , backed with plain woven silk
Brief Description
Embroidered silk pin cushion, made by Martha Edlin, England, 1670-1680
Physical Description
Pin cushion, rectangular in shape. The front is embroidered in shades of blue and pink silk in flame stitch, and the back is covered in pink plain woven silk. Edged with a plaited cord of pink silk and silver thread.
Dimensions
  • Length: 7.5cm
  • Width: 6.3cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 26/04/1999 by DW
Gallery Label
British Galleries: MARTHA EDLIN'S EMBROIDERY
The small scale of each piece is further evidence of Martha's sewing skills. She used different stitches and techniques, like the flame stitching on the small pincushion and plaiting on the cords of the purse.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Purchased with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Art Fund
Object history
Purchased. Registered File number 1989/1572.
Summary
Object Type
This pin cushion was among the contents of an embroidered casket used by a young girl, Martha Edlin, to store her small personal possessions. She would have embroidered it herself. It does not appear to have been used. It is worked in flame stitch, a technique also sometimes known as Irish stitch, Hungarian stitch, florentine stitch and bargello stitch, the variety of names indicating the uncertainty of its origins.

People
Martha Edlin (1660-1725) worked a series of embroideries during her childhood, including this jewellery case, which were cherished by her descendants and passed down through the female line in her family for over 300 years. We know little about her life, except that she married a man called Richard Richmond and appears to have been a prosperous widow living in Pinner in Greater London at the time she drew up her will, with daughters and grandchildren.

Materials & Making
Following the usual development of needlework skills in a young educated girl in the mid-17th century, Martha Edlin embroidered a sampler in coloured silks at the age of eight, and a more complicated piece in whitework and cutwork at nine. By 1671, her eleventh year, she had embroidered the panels of an elaborate casket, and two years later this beadwork jewellery case. The needlework skills she demonstrated in these pieces would be important attributes in her adulthood, in the management of her household and the making, mending and decoration of her own and her family's clothes.
Collection
Accession Number
T.446-1990

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record createdMay 12, 1999
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