A 17th century needlework purse – £8700 at Gildings.

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Top-seller at the November 16 sale in Market Harborough was a 4¾in (12cm) wide purse. Featuring petit point embroidered flowers against a background of silver thread, with gold thread adornments, it was dated ‘probably 17th century’ and sold at £8700 against a £2000-3000 estimate.

A Charles II flat silkwork casket, containing a mirror, glass bottles, removeable compartments and a secret drawer, was worked all over with scenes of Nonesuch Palace, fountains, birds and other animals, a gentleman holding a cane and a lady playing a lute. The 12½ (32cm) wide casket had some old repairs and had faded over the years and sold on the lower estimate at £5000.


Needlework book cover and Bible inscribed Sarah Yates 1658 – £3400 at Gildings.

Going way above expectations was a needlework book cover, containing a Bible, imprinted at London by Evan Tyler for the Society of Stationers, 1654.

It was inscribed to the end paper Sarah Yates 1658, November who possibly had embroidered the cover with flowers, strawberry plants and foliage. Estimated at £400-600, the cover and book sold at £3400.

Needlework tools

More affordable, if considerably above hopes, were two needlework tools.

A beadwork pointer, probably 17th century, with diaper and line pattern beads to the (9in 23cm) long handle was estimated at £40-60 and took £480.


Two 19th century pin cushions – £850 at Gildings.

Two pin cushions moved the collection into the early 19th century. A cushion-shaped one, 1¾ in (4.5cm) wide carried the design of a ship and the words The Gift Is Small, The Love Is All, 1807. The other, a 2in (5cm) near sphere, was sewn with All Happiness Attend You 1805. Pitched at £150-250, the two sold at £850.