Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Pin cushion

Pin cushion

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1650-1699 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Satin, embroidered with silver and silver-gilt thread, cord and purl

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Peter Barker-Mill

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 54a, case 2

Object Type
This pin cushion characterises the style of embroidery of the 1660s and 1670s. The preference is for mainly metal threads worked over thick padding, giving a heavy three-dimensional effect. The embroidery design is quite architectural, incorporating stylised floral patterns.

Physical description

Small, rectangular pin cushion of deep purple satin embroidered with silver gilt and silver thread with metal cord and purl inlaid work with some padding. It is also embroidered with some coloured silks in satin stitch.

The edges are bound with a silver gilt braid and at each corner are tassels of purple ribbon and silver gilt and silver thread attached to wooden balls wrapped in silver thread.

Both sides of the pin cushion have closely packed floral borders and a crowned monogram. On one side a more simple monogram is enclosed by a wreath and on the other side an elaborate monogram is flanked by feathers.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1650-1699 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Satin, embroidered with silver and silver-gilt thread, cord and purl

Marks and inscriptions

Crowned monogram


Width: 7.9 cm, Length: 10.2 cm, Depth: 3.7 cm, Width: 3.125 in, Length: 4 in, Depth: 1.5 in

Object history note

Made in England

Descriptive line

Pin cushion of embroidered satin, England, 1650-1699

Labels and date

British Galleries:

By 1680 women used fewer pins when getting dressed. These pin cushions are much smaller than those used around 1600. The dense, metal thread embroidery also leaves little room for pins. Some contemporary writers mocked the variety of luxury trinkets to be found in a lady's dressing room. [27/03/2003]


Needlework accessories; Embroidery


Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.