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Layette pincushion

Layette pincushion

  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (made)

  • Date:

    1862 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Beryl Hinton

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Layette pincushions were given as presents to women who had newly or recently born babies. They were in theory useful as well as symbolic, because baby clothes in the UK were often fastened with ordinary pins until the successful marketing of the safety pin in the 1870s.

In some areas it was considered very unlucky to give the pincushion before the birth: not only was this over confidence that the outcome would be successful, but there was a superstition about pins and birth pain. 'For every pin a pain' and 'More pins, more pain' were traditional sayings, and some women would remove all the pins, no matter how elaborate the pattern.

Physical description

Square pincushion of pink silk, edged with a russet silk fringe. The front of the pincushion is worked with Victorian gothic lettering in pins, and the corners and edges are decorated with pins.

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (made)


1862 (made)



Marks and inscriptions

Bless the Babe
Save the Mother


Height: 16.2 cm, Width: 16.2 cm

Object history note

Given by Beryl Hinton

Descriptive line

Layette pincushion of pink silk, stuck with pins to read 'Bless the Babe and Save the Mother/ 1862', made in the UK 1862


Silk; Pins


Birth; Children & Childhood

Production Type



Museum of Childhood

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