Early Carved Lace-Makers Ball
New England, discovered decades ago in Massachusetts. Very early 18th century (ca. 1720-1730.
Pine and linen, the top and bottom panels profusely carved, with 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. Also retains the original carved turnbuckle clasp and final. The wooden pins form the structure around which the thick linen (and likely cotton batting) are wrapped. The linen wrap is the foundation upon which the lace is crafted with pins holding the lace in place while working. 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 floral design that is repeated under the base.
A substantial piece of about 8 ½ inches diameter x 5 tall, and weighty in-hand. This is an exceedingly rare Americana survival with only several known.