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It was exciting to see the gold locket laying in the bottom of the Sewing/Workbox amongst Georgiana’s memorabilia. How do we know it is hers? There is no certainty… but it seems all of her things were kept together in this box. There are no items which are clearly from another person or period. It is lovely to think she wore it and it was special.
Hope we can get some clues as to what this item is or does! Please let us know your ideas.
There are 4 items tied together with black fabric.
1. the brass dome shape with flat base
2. the brass hand, which may be acting as a key holder
3. the long silver black item with a flat base with criss-cross pattern
4. the coppery key-like item
The 4th picture below shows how small it is in comparison.
Now that I have a wee camera, I took myself on a Sunday walk. No excuse any longer to call this the “pink ball blossom thing”. It was easy to google and find it is a native plant of southern Western Australia (but not actually in the Capes area). Hakea Laurina (commonly called Pin Cushion Hakea) is mostly found in a wide area from Albany to Esperance. So although Georgiana would have delighted in it, in fact, she would never have seen this Hakea.
Name meaning: Hakea laurina
Hakea – after Baron von Hake, 20th century botanist;
laurina – laurel-like, of the leaves
My better camera does not let me get close to objects (grrr) and so I picked up a second-hand one for $50. It will let me get 1cm from a plant and at 12 mp it is a decent resolution. Very handy to keep in a track suit pocket. (Canon Power Shot SX200 IS).
This project is doing me a great deal of good already!
P.S. Without a lot of winter flowers about, the bees were loving the heavy blossom.
I have seen rolls of fabric online like this, which also holds a wooden cotton spool and sometimes even scissors. Perhaps this is like a sewing travelling kit?
Georgiana’s sewing needles in a small green leather wallet. In the Regency period I am not sure if this was called a wallet or purse.
Note to Friends and Subscribers:
We have just changed to a new mail out system and you may have missed or had doubles of email newsletters. I hope you did not miss seeing the photo of Georgiana’s Sewing Sampler in the last post. Just google search www.georgianamolloy.com.au and you will see all the recent posts. A few more bumps and it should all be running smoothly.
Pinterest has some wonderful images of sewing implements of this period. Holly Story you might enjoy this page!
This sewing sampler would have been a studious undertaking for Georgiana (Georgiana Kennedy, as she was then) in 1821. As Georgiana was born in 1805, this would mean she was 16 years of age when she stitched her name and the year. Practicing and refining sewing skills was an important part of a young womans preparation for her future life. Her sampler was a symbol of reaching this stage and she kept it with her other precious items in her sewing box. It is likely her daughters would have at times examined this many times while they were growing up without their mother.
The calling cards used in Britain in the 1800’s were very practical items for social visits. On arrival a visitor would provide a card for the staff to take to the host. This allowed the host to decide if they wished to receive the visitor at that moment or even whether they were deemed appropriate. In many ways calling cards served the social negotiations similar to ways we use the internet and telephone in these days.
Georgiana kept (in the sewing workbox) her previous calling card when she was Miss Georgiana Kennedy and then a card showing her new status of Mrs Molloy.
The card below was manufactured by “Dobbs” and the embossed border has the wording “Pour Faire Visite”.
Georgiana’s thimble is a very personal item and she would have taken great care in choosing it, as it needed to fit snugly as feel just right. She would have used it constantly while sewing new garments for her family; not to mention the constant mending which was necessary. The silver thimble is in good condition and Georgiana would have kept it polished and shining.
Many young people today would not have used a thimble. In previous generations, hours of sewing by hand would have meant pushing the needle through the fabric thousands of times and result in sore fingers, especially with thicker fabrics. The thimble was placed on the longest middle finger and was very ergonomic in allowing the needle to be pushed quickly and with some force.
Dear Friends, it has been a long time between posts. My apologies. I still adore this project and it is now back on the front burner.
I started this project in 2004 and the research stage was a joy. I am assembling a key reference group for the project and will keep you informed as we go. But first I would like to share some photographs of a precious item. The Workbox of Georgian Molloy. So let’s start unpacking it!
The photographs were taken with permission of the National Trust.
Under the first layer which is a collection of sewing and craft bits and bobs, is the deeper compartment.
Opening the nut revealed a white heavy (lead) ball. There was also a separate and newer note added by a decedent.
E. D D C
i.e. Mary Dorothea Du Cane (nee Molloy)
Mum’s ^ Workbox
with Hubert’s bullet found in
Grandpapa Molloy after Waterloo
This is an astonishing item and not surprising that it was kept in the special and precious collection. It is well known that John Molloy fought at Waterloo under Wellington in the prestigious unit of the 95th Rifle Brigade. His grandchildren were aware of the stories about his military history as they quoted Hubert (surely a French name) as the source of the bullet.