Not currently on display at the V&A

Card of Pins

1620-1650 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Account books from the seventeenth century show wealthy households regularly buying large numbers of pins, and a well-stocked pincushion would have been an essential accessory for any woman of rank. Pins were central to the domestic manufacture of garments such as shirts, but were also used for holding garments together and attaching jewellery. Consequently many women carried small emergency supplies of pins with them in cases to remedy any deficiencies in their dress.

Traditionally France was the centre of pin manufacture, but by the seventeenth century English pins had developed a reputation for quality and English pin-makers were increasingly dominating the market. Pins were made by hand. The head and the shank were cut from separate coils of wire of different thickness and soldered together. Then the head was stamped to produce a smooth round shape. This laborious process rendered a pin an expensive luxury item, and this remained the case until the mechanisation of pin-making in the nineteenth century.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silvered brass
Brief Description
1620-1650, English; Five missing
Physical Description
Card of pins
Dimensions
  • Minimum length: 2cm
  • Maximum length: 3.5cm
Pins range in size from 2-3.5cm in length
Credit line
Given by R. J. Andrews
Summary
Account books from the seventeenth century show wealthy households regularly buying large numbers of pins, and a well-stocked pincushion would have been an essential accessory for any woman of rank. Pins were central to the domestic manufacture of garments such as shirts, but were also used for holding garments together and attaching jewellery. Consequently many women carried small emergency supplies of pins with them in cases to remedy any deficiencies in their dress.



Traditionally France was the centre of pin manufacture, but by the seventeenth century English pins had developed a reputation for quality and English pin-makers were increasingly dominating the market. Pins were made by hand. The head and the shank were cut from separate coils of wire of different thickness and soldered together. Then the head was stamped to produce a smooth round shape. This laborious process rendered a pin an expensive luxury item, and this remained the case until the mechanisation of pin-making in the nineteenth century.
Collection
Accession Number
123-1900

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record createdJanuary 2, 2007
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