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Very Early Lace Maker's Ball
New England, discovered decades ago in Massachusetts. 18th century. Pine and linen, the top and bottom panels profusely carved, retaining untouched rich natural patina, the two panels joined by a circle of long wooden pins about the perimeter. The top panel is centered by a leather-hinged door, the leather held by rose-head nails (the leather long ago worn through). Retains the original carved turnbuckle clasp, and door finial. The wooden pins form the structure around which thick linen (with likely cotton batting within) are wrapped. The linen wrap is the foundation upon which the lace is crafted using pins to hold the lace in place. The inside of the ball functions as a box, holding carved wooden tools (two present) that provided tension to lace-threads. The door is decorated with an elaborate petal design that is repeated under the base. A substantial piece of about 8 1/2 inches diameter x 5 tall, and pleasingly weighty in-hand. This is an exceedingly rare Americana survival.
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