Nature Antiques
Larry and Carole

Purveyors of Americana
Patented & Mechanical Antiques


Needle & Thread Related Antiques

Most of the sewing related antiques you will find on this and our other Sewing Accessories pages originated from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, and were part three large and diverse antique sewing collections we are handling on consignment.  This is the first time most of these pieces have been out on the market in many years.

Needle HolderUmbrella Shaped Needle Holders   These figural needle holders date from the 19th Century.  The one on top has a wooden body with ivory fittings.

The bottom one in the photo is all ivory and a bit more slender in form.  The Stanhope insert is missing.  Both are carved with great detail and skill.

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VM-ncase-umb1           VM-ncase-umb2

Excellent . . . . .  $125.00 / each

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Carved Ivory Umbrella Shaped Needle CasesCarved Ivory Umbrella Shaped Needle Cases   These figural needle holders date from the 19th Century.  The one on top has a clenched fist with a Stanhope but I nearly went cross-eyed trying to look at it!  Both the top and bottom fittings unscrew on this one.  There is a tiny bit of damage at one edge.

The bottom one also has a Stanhope insert and it depicts a scene from Gettysburg, PA.  Both are carved with great detail and skill.

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EJ-ncase-umb1           EJ-ncase-umb2

Excellent . . . . .  $125.00 / each

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Antique Button BoxIvory Umbrella Needle Case w/ Stanhope  There is some chipping / damage along the top edge, but it still screws together.  The pic inside is OK.  Nice!

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Good . . . . . . . $55.00

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Ivory Needle HolderFabulous Figural "Pea Pod" Ivory Needle Cases   These 19th Century needlecases are exquisite and incredibly realistic in form.  These are the caliber of pieces that you only find in longtime collections.  I have never seen anything quite as nice, and imagine the love and thought that the maker expressed both in the making and the giving.

The pod on top has a perfectly shaped tip.

The pod on bottom has a wonderful stem.           VM-ncase-pod2     SOLD!

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Excellent......... $225.00 each

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Ivory Needle / Bodkin CasesCarved Ivory Needle / Bodkin Cases   The case on the left has a series of carved rings and measures about 3 1/4".  It looks large enough inside to be a holder for narrow bodkins as well as traditional needles.  It has two small cracks in the cap.     VM-ncase-ring1

The case on the right has a different carving pattern of concentric rings and bands.  It measures about 4" in length.  It is missing its stanhope.             VM-ncase-ring2     SOLD!

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Very Good......... $25.00

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Antique Button BoxCarved Ivory Needle Case   Nice!

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Good . . . . . . . $55.00

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Antique Bone / Ivory Needle Holders4 Different Antique Bone / Ivory Needle Holders   I can't be sure if the one on the far left is bone or ivory.  It is a very elegant 4" tall form, and made to stand.  There is a hairline crack in the top that does not appear to go all the way through.       VM-ncase-41

The second one is dumbbell shaped and opens on one end.      VM-ncase-42

Next is an ivory case trimmed with a silver or nickel plated metal cap at each end and ring around the threaded end.       VM-ncase-43

The case on the right is a nicely carved and shaped needle holder that measures about 2 3/4".        VM-ncase-44    SOLD!

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Very Good......... $15.00 each     

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Carved Ivory and Gold Inlaid Needle CaseLarge Carved Ivory and Gold Inlaid Needle Case   On the left is one of the most beautiful needle cases I have ever seen.  A fabulous 3 1/2" long rectangular piece, it is inlaid in a decorative pattern with tiny round gold metal circles, though some are missing.  It is monogrammed with two initials and topped with a carved basket of fruit.      VM-ncase-g

Round Heavily Carved Needle Case   On the right is another nice ivory needle holding case.  The carving has an Oriental feel on this one, and inside the top it looks to be signed although I can't actually make out the initials or mark.      VM-ncase-ortl

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Inlaid .........Very Good  ....... $295.00

Oriental .........Very Good  .......$55.00     SOLD!

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Antique Needle Cases3 Carved Coquilla Nut "Vegetable Ivory" Antique Needle Cases   All three of these cases are really lovely.  The light colored case on the left, large enough to house needles or small bodkins, opens at both ends.      VM-ncase-veg1

In the middle is an acorn-inspired design that is symmetrical and incredibly realistic. It also opens at both ends.       VM-ncase-veg2     SOLD!

On the right is a nicely carved case that will hold a substantial number of needles or even several smaller bodkins.  It is made to stand upright.  There is a bit of minor damage in the way of flaking to the base that is hardly noticeable.      VM-ncase-veg3

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Very Good  ....... $55.00 each

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Carved Coquilla Nut Antique Needle CaseCarved Coquilla Nut "Vegetable Ivory" Antique Needle Case   This three piece needle case is large enough to house needles or small bodkins, and opens at both ends.  Some minor damage but still very nice.      EJ-ncase-veg1

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Good  ....... $55.00

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Vintage Wooden Needle CaseVintage Wooden Needle Case   This chip carved and painted needle holder is very folk-y and very well done.

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Very Good  ....... $10.00

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3 Wooden Needlecases3 Wooden Needle Cases   The needle case on the left is quite simple in design and very functional. The threaded top unscrews. The bottom is marked "Made in Czechoslovakia".      KR-ncase-w1

The middle case is a figural one which very cleverly incorporates a pair of hands folded in prayer into the top, which is obviously hand carved.        KR-ncase-w2

The case on the right features very intricate carving, almost Black Forest-like in style.      KR-ncase-w3

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Left ........ Very Good  ....... $10.00

Middle ........ Very Good  ....... $75.00

Right ........ Very Good  ....... $75.00

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Wooden Needle Holders2 Wooden Needle Holders   On the left is a 4" wooden needle holder that is heavily carved with a pattern of grape leaves and bunches of grapes, in very high relief.  It is carved in the style of Black Forest wood carvings and is in very nice condition overall.     VM-ncase-wd1

On the right is a much more simple design of a wooden case.  A beautiful and delicate piece, but the interesting fact is that it looks like it was not quite finished as the inside of the narrow end is not carved out.

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Left ......Very Good......... $95.00     SOLD!

Right ......Very Good......... $10.00

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English Wire Bound Needle Case19th Century English Wire Bound Needle Case   This is a very unique needlecase.  The case itself is brass and it is painstakingly decorated with twisted brass wire and tiny chain---a very intricate design!

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Very Good......... $55.00

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Victorian Needle Case2 Early Unusual Victorian Needle Cases   These are two very unusual Victorian needlecases. 

The one on the left is made of quill and intricately wrapped with very fine wire, with blue tasseled ends.

The needle and / or bodkin case on the right is comprised of green, black, white, and red beads over an ivory core.       VM-needlecase-B

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Good......... $125.00 each

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Antique Button BoxMetal "Chinaman" Needle Case   I am not sure if this is a stand alone piece or belongs on a chatelaine.  Very different, very nice!

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Good +. . . . . . . $125.00

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Silver Needle Case5 Silver Needle Cases   These are all very nice with the two on either end being particularly unusual and heavier weight.  The case on the far left has a square bottom that acts as a base to allow the case to stand upright.  It is highly ornamental.  The case on the far right has a thread winder top, and probably originally had a cap that screwed on to it.  This one is quite rare.

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From Left to Right:

#1 .......Good......... $200.00     VM-s-ncase-1     SOLD!

#2 #3 #4 .......Good......... $35.00 / Each     VM-s-ncase-2, 3, 4

#5 .......Good......... $200.00     VM-s-ncase-5     SOLD

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Brass and Gold Wash Needle Case5 Brass and Gold Wash Needle Cases   Each of these needle cases are very different and very lovely.

The case on the top is turned brass and has good weight to it.  Both ends unscrew and it can hold bodkins as well as needles.

Along the bottom row is a heavily embossed needle / bodkin holder in gold wash, with a small gold wash bodkin inside.

Then a small gold needlecase, probably French.

Next is a heavy, long, decorated needle / bodkin holder in gold wash.  It has a beautiful patina.  If you are interested in this one please ask me for better and more detailed pictures so you can see how lovely it really is.

And finally a simple and functional long needle holder in brass.

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Top ...... Good ..... $35.00     VM-br-ncase-1

Bottom From Left to Right:

#1 .......Good......... $75.00     VM-gw-ncase-1

#2 .......Good......... $150.00     VM-gw-ncase-2     SOLD!

#3 .......Good......... $95.00     VM-gw-ncase-3

#4 .......Good......... $10.00     VM-br-ncase-2

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5 Ivory or Bone Needle Cases5 Ivory / Bone Needle Cases   These five different needlecases show a sampling of the amazing array of shapes, sizes, designs of antique needlecases that can be found.  Note that even the simple cylinder shaped one on the left is treated royally with silver trim collars at either end.  The figural umbrella shaped one on the far right is nothing short of charming. There is a crack in the top. The three in between all show creativity and skill in workmanship. The heavily carved one is probably bone.  It also has a crack in the top and looks like it would have had a Stanhope but that is missing.

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From Left to Right:

#1 ...... Good ..... $20.00     KR-icase-1     SOLD!

#2 .......Good......... $25.00     KR-icase-2

#3 .......Good......... $35.00     KR-icase-3

#4.......Good......... $30.00     KR-icase-4

#5 .......Good......... $65.00     KR-icase-5

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Carved Ivory Bodkin or Needle CaseCarved Ivory Bodkin / Needle Case   This is a pretty incredible piece.  The carving of this needle case is very detailed and very intricate with very deep carving.  It contains an amazing array of hand carved bodkins and needles of different sorts.  Perhaps a sailorís handiwork?  There is a crack in the top but is stable.  There is also a chip on the bottom.

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Good......... $295.00

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Stenciled Lacquered NeedlebookStenciled  Lacquered Wooden Needlebook   The front and back covers of this needlebook are wood, with multi-toned stenciled fern leaf designs and a lacquer finish.  The tag on the front, which is partly missing, reads "Arthur James Needles and J.R. Clark Junr & Co's Spool Cotton Give Perfect Satisfaction."  Though the "binding" and the felt "pages" are tattered it is a very well-made piece, with a scalloped edge interior edge set up with a numbering system to organize needles according to size.  Very unusual!   

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Good......... $35.00

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Needle Pouch with American Indian BeadworkFabric Needle Pouch with American Indian Beadwork   This needle case is made of old black fabric and beautifully covered with North American Indian beadwork.  Though there is some wear to the fabric and some missing beads on the edges it is a really fine piece.

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Good-......... $75.00

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Wooden Transferware 
Needle Case3 Wooden Transferware Needle Cases   The wooden tube case holds crochet hooks.  The scenes on it are Ryde Pier and Something Pond, making it English in origin.

The wooden "barrel" is marked "Germany".  To remove the needles you simply rotate the top so that the arrow lines up with the appropriate numbered needle that you want to fetch out.  It still retains it's original paper label from Gimbles, a department store in NYC.

The mushroom shaped one is a combination needle case and darner.  Amazingly and fortunately it was never used as a darner, which would have marred the fabulous transferware scene.  Typically it is English scenes that are depicted, but this is "The Summit House, Wachusett Mountain, Princeton, Mass.  2018 Feet Above Sea Level".  On the back side it is marked "Scotland".  It is extremely rare to find American scenes on these typically English and European "souvenir" pieces.  A great one!

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VM-tsfwr-1         VM-tsfwr-2         VM-tsfwr-3

Left ...Very Good......... $25.00     SOLD!

Middle ...Very Good......... $35.00

Right ...Very Good......... $65.00

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Ivory Needlework TemplateIvory Needlework Template    I believe this would have been used as a template to mark off an embroidery pattern for stitching. Very classy, very fine!

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Good ......... $195.00

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Bone Antique Knitting Needle GuardsCarved Ivory / Bone Antique Knitting Needle Guards   The whimsical pair on the left look to be ivory and are carved in the shape of hooves.     VM-knit-1

The pair on the right are probably bone, and although not figural are carved in great and meticulous detail.  They still retain their original ribbon.

Very Good ......... $75.00 each

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Ivory Knitting Needle SheathRare Ivory Knitting Needle Sheath   On the right is an unusual piece that I was not familiar with.  Gay Ann Rogers describes knitting needle sheaths as "curious implements whose.....function is not to act as a case for knitting needles but to make knitting more efficient."  Apparently one would tuck the sheath into one's waistband and use it to support the bottom of the knitting needle in order to free up that hand.  This example is heavily carved.  There is a little damage at one end and it appears to be missing an end cap as well, but it's rarity overshadows those apologies.


Carved Ivory Pen Holder / Wax Seal / Stanhope On the left is a neat piece as well.  Not sewing related but certainly something that would have been used by women of the same status.  It is heavily and intricately carved ivory that houses a pen nib.  There is an intact stanhope with 4 different scenes of Niagara Falls at the far end that is topped off with little cross-hatched sealing wax stamp.  There was apparently something else in the way of an end cap or stand that is missing from the bottom.


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Good ......... $125.00 each

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Knitting Needle SheathKnitting Sheath Made of Carved Wood, Signed   This rare piece is a carved wooden knitting sheath, used in one's waistband to support the bottom of a knitting needle.  It is probably English dating from the 18th century, and I believe it to be hand-made.  It is "folky" in appearance with a decorative tri-color wood inlay.  There is a pewter inset inscribed with the initials "A.J."  Sewing tools like this were often made and given as presents from a suitor to his betrothed, so the initials could be those of the maker or of the receiver.  Unusual!


Good ......... $145.00

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Mother of Pearl Thread WindersMother of Pearl Thread Winders   All three of these are really nice.  The two that hold spools of thread come apart so you can insert the spool.  The one on the far right is a snowflake shape winder.  Beautiful!

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Good +. . . . . . . $95.00 for all 3

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Wooden acorn thread caseWooden Acorn Thread Case   This is much darker in color in person.  It is very nicely done, and a good fit.  Most of these in this acorn shape were made as thimble holders, but this one is outfitted to hold needle and thread.  Different and nice!

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Good +. . . . . . . $95.00

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Vintage Blindfold Automatic Needle ThreadersVintage Blindfold Automatic Needle Threaders  These spring-loaded gadgets make threading a needle a breeze.  Both for one money!

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Good +. . . . . . . $20.00 for the pair     SOLD!

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We can help you sell your quality Antiques in this and other categories of Antiques.

If you have similar antiques or collectibles you want to sell please see our
FAQ Page, the Appraisal / Selling Page, and the Selling Your Collection Pages for further info about selling with us.

To view examples of the types of antiques and collectibles we have previously sold and are always interested in helping you sell please visit our Past Sales Archive Pages at our sister website


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Larry & Carole Meeker