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Pen wiper

Pen wiper

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1880-1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    chicken's wishbone, wool

  • Museum number:

    B.28-2014

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

‘Merry-thought’ figure pen wipers were novelty items, hand-made and often sold in markets and stalls. It was an everyday item which many people would have used to clean the nibs of their dip-pens. This ‘Merry-thought’ figure pen wiper is fashioned from a chicken’s wishbone, adorned with a mortar board and a gown to resemble a teacher. Taking the form of a teacher and accompanied with a comical rhyme, it has been imbued with character and humour. Despite the crude materials and construction, the pen wiper is in relatively good condition with all parts intact.

Physical description

This ‘Merry-thought’ figure pen wiper is fashioned from a chicken’s wishbone, adorned with a mortar board and a gown of black and red woolen cloth to resemble a teacher. It has a comical rhyme written on paper which is stiched to its gown. The pen wiper is in relatively good condition with all parts intact.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1880-1900 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

chicken's wishbone, wool

Marks and inscriptions

"Once I was a Merry-thought,
Growing on a hen,
Now I am a little man,
Made to wipe your pen"

Dimensions

Height: 9 cm, Width: 6 cm, Depth: 3.3 cm

Object history note

‘Merry-thought’ figure pen wiper were novelty items and sold in markets and stalls. It was an everyday item which many people would have used to clean the nibs of their dip-pens.

Descriptive line

Hand-made ‘Merry-thought’ figure pen wiper fashioned from a chicken’s wishbone and adorned with a mortar board and gown to resemble a teacher.

Materials

Bone; Wool

Techniques

Sewn

Categories

Dolls & Toys; Writing

Collection

Museum of Childhood

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