Description: French, circa 1793 – 1815, Napoleonic War knitting needle case made of paper and straw. This case would have been used to hold short knitting needles in a highly artistic case. The outside is covered in tiny split pieces of straw that were then dyed and laid in a geometric design. The top lifts off to reveal the inside is also covered in wider bits of straw that has been dyed different shades of color then the outside.
Fun facts: To mimic the varying shades of wood veneer, wheat or oat straw has to be split, then soaked in cold, warm, or hot water. The strips are then ironed, and there will be a variety of tones from pale gold to deepest dark brown and both the inside and outside of the straw was used.
To help alleviate their boredom and to supplement their rations and to provide small income, prisoners were permitted to sell artifacts twice a week at the local market, or daily at the prison gate. Prices were regulated so the prisoners did not undersell local industries. In return, prisoners were permitted to buy additional food, tobacco, wine, clothes or materials for further work.
Condition: Excellent to Very Good as this is over 200 years old - some minor, and I do mean minor, areas of loss of straw, both very bottom and top and both have had some replacement straw at one time. One small piece out around a band on a middle ring. Rub to the inside straw that is expected since the top slides on and off it. And a tiny, size of a pin head, piece of straw out or dented on bottom backside.
|8 5/8 in||1 3/8 in||5/8 in|