Layette Pincushion

1862 (made)
Layette Pincushion thumbnail 1
Layette Pincushion thumbnail 2
+2
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Brief Description
Layette pincushion of pink silk, stuck with pins to read 'Bless the Babe and Save the Mother/ 1862', made in the UK 1862
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.
Dimensions
  • Height: 16.2cm (Note: (from original 1985 record))
  • Width: 16.2cm (Note: (from original 1985 record))
Production typeUnique
Marks and Inscriptions
Bless the Babe and Save the Mother 1862
Credit line
Given by Miss Beryl Hinton
Object history
Given by Beryl Hinton
Summary
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.
Collection
Accession Number
MISC.142-1985

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record createdMarch 17, 2009
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