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Here a collector finds just what they were looking for.

Sticking to your knitting

Sally Honey of Opus Antiques lists a number of items on the online dealer portal SellingAntiques.co.uk (as well as on her own website) and it was there that a buyer recently spotted this knitting sheath. The fine Welsh chip-carved sheath, dated 1820, is made from fruitwood.

The front has a belt hook with a flowering jardiniere and some geometric panels. To the reverse is a carved flower and bird on a branch, and MAM is inscribed around the top. It was listed at £495.

The buyer was a collector from the US and was drawn to the item both for its attractive appearance and its provenance: it had once been in the collection of Dr Ian McFeeters, the author of the definitive book Knitting Stick & Sheaths: A History.

Opus Antiques, based in Devon, has offered a number of pieces from this collection and has many other items listed on its SellingAntiques.co.uk page – many of which are available for under £1000. The dealership specialises in treen and decorative wooden items, also appearing at fairs and sending out regular email newsletters featuring new stock.