Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Touching 1854

At "Coffee, Crochet & Chat" today, HHCC President, Grace, brought in one of her latest treasures: a crochet hook from 1854!

The hook traveled from Dereham, Norfolk, United Kingdom. The handle is carved of bone, and unscrews at the bottom to store the extra crochet hook heads. The tip of the hook also unscrews, so that the desired hook size can be inserted & secured.

What makes this crochet hook intriguing is the stamping in the bronze body. It reads: I THOMPSON REGD AUG t 10 1854

Even more interesting, it is entirely possible the brass body could have been made in Waterbury, Connecticut, well known as the Brass City of the World!

What do we know about England and 1854? We know Queen Victoria was crocheting scarves to award to servicemen during what is known as the South African War. In fact, she awarded a total of eight crocheted scarves, one of which can be seen here, pictured on The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment website.

Also happening in 1854, The Ladies Complete Guide to Crochet & Fancy Knitting was printed.
"With a crotchet-needle in the hand, we join more pleasantly in conversation; the little implement fills up all embarrassing pauses. Its use gives feminine and domestic air, which men may smile at but cannot condemn. Under all circumstances, it is better than counting beads like the modern Greeks, or flirting with fans like the Spanish belles -- or flirting without fans, as sometimes happens to ladies of all nations."
Want to read more from the Ladies Complete Guide? Click here to read the 2005 article featured in Talking Crochet.

"Coffee, Crochet & Chat." Sometimes it is history too.

1 comment: said...

If the body was indeed created in Waterbury, Connecticut, then I'd also suspect that the bone handle was carved on one of America's whaling ships. England was a huge customer of the American whale products.

I'd love to know more about this crochet hook! It is beautiful!