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Stiletto (Piercing Tools)

late 19th century (made)

Bone stiletto with turned centre, shaped handle and top ring.

object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Brief Description
Bone needlework stiletto used by the ballerina Marie Taglioni (1804-1884).
Physical Description
Bone stiletto with turned centre, shaped handle and top ring.
  • Length: 71mm
Credit line
Cyril W. Beaumont Bequest
Object history
The stiletto came with an associated note in Margaret Rolfe's hand (extract): "The knives, stiletto, (illegible crossed out) bodkin were all used by Marie Taglioni." One knife is S.825-2001; the second knife and bodkin are unnumbered.

The stiletto is part of a unique collection of memorabilia and personal effects which evoke Marie Taglioni in the last decades of her life. She was a keen needlewoman and the collection contains both examples of her own work and her personal sewing accessories. A collection of Taglioni memorabilia was amassed by Margaret Rolfe, the granddaughter of Taglioni's closest friend in London, Mrs Boggs Rolfe; she attended Taglioni's dancing classes and received many gifts of Taglioni memorabilia, from Taglioni herself, from her grandmother and, after Taglioni's death, from her niece, Marguerite Troubetzkoi. She kept these, with a series of related notes, in various boxes and annotated envelopes (filed separately). These she passed to Cyril Beaumont, probably for the London Archives of the Dance (a number of the objects were referred to in "The London Archives of the Dance and some of its Treasures" by Cyril Beaumont, Ballet Annual, first issue, Adam & Charles Black, London, 1947, p110); the Archives never achieved an independent home and part of the collection, including the Taglioni memorabilia, was stored with Cyril Beaumont, where it became inextricably mixed with his own collection and came to the Museum as part of the Cyril Beaumont Bequest.
Accession Number

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record createdDecember 10, 2001
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