Pin Cushion thumbnail 1
Pin Cushion thumbnail 2
+2
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery

Pin Cushion

1600-1630 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
Pin cushions served both functional and decorative purposes. Used for holding the large numbers of pins required to fasten clothing, they were often richly embellished. Along with expensive combs, brushes, and scents, the pin cushion adorned a lady's dressing table.

Materials & Making
This pin cushion is decorated in canvaswork. Worked in wool, it was a popular form of embroidery, particularly for furnishings such as wall hangings, cushion covers and table carpets. For smaller items, like this pin cushion, silk, silver and silver-gilt threads were often used on a ground of finely woven linen.

Subjects Depicted
The pin cushion bears a pattern of thistles, gilly flowers (carnations), cornflower, rose, borage with a squirrel, birds and insects. These naturalistic forms were typical of the period and match similar designs that decorated clothing.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Canvas work in coloured silk, silver and silver-gilt thread, with satin back and silver and silk thread tassels
Brief Description
embroidered, 1600-1629, English
Physical Description
Rectangular pincushion
Dimensions
  • Including rings height: 15.3cm
  • Including rings width: 27.4cm
  • Depth: 5.5cm
  • Approx., including tassels height: 18cm
  • Approx., including tassels width: 32cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; by kb
Gallery Label
British Galleries: PIN CUSHION AND PINS
Enormous quanitities of pins were used for the fastening of clothing. Elizabeth I was supplied with 24,000 'pynnes of diverse sorts' just for her coronation. Pins secured the petticoat in a ruffle above the farthingale (hoops that supported a skirt), and held the curves of the ruff in place around the neck. Several dozen might be used for one ensemble. Such a quantity required large pincushions, like the canvas work one here. These pins were found in written documents that were dated between 1620 and 1635.(27/03/2003)
Object history
Embroidered in England
Summary
Object Type
Pin cushions served both functional and decorative purposes. Used for holding the large numbers of pins required to fasten clothing, they were often richly embellished. Along with expensive combs, brushes, and scents, the pin cushion adorned a lady's dressing table.

Materials & Making
This pin cushion is decorated in canvaswork. Worked in wool, it was a popular form of embroidery, particularly for furnishings such as wall hangings, cushion covers and table carpets. For smaller items, like this pin cushion, silk, silver and silver-gilt threads were often used on a ground of finely woven linen.

Subjects Depicted
The pin cushion bears a pattern of thistles, gilly flowers (carnations), cornflower, rose, borage with a squirrel, birds and insects. These naturalistic forms were typical of the period and match similar designs that decorated clothing.
Collection
Accession Number
317-1898

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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