Wednesday 6 March 2024

Celebrating mothers on lace bobbins


As it’s Mothers’ day in the UK on Sunday I thought I’d write about lace bobbins celebrating mothers this week. The bobbin with the blue spangle is inscribed Dear mother and the other one says Sarah Ions my D mother. It looks as if the bobbin maker was running out of space so he just squeezed D on at the end of the line to represent dear. Or perhaps Sarah’s daughter forgot to ask him to include dear and wanted him to fit it in later. Both bobbins were made by the person called the Blunt end man by the Springetts in their research on bobbin makers and their techniques. He seems to have links to Bedford and was definitely making bobbins between 1860 and 1874, so these two bobbins are about 150 years old. The Blunt end man used simple lettering in straight lines, rather than the spiral inscriptions other bobbin makers favoured. He produced a large quantity of bobbins including many personal ones like Sarah’s but also had a good stock of simple inscriptions such as Dear mother, as well as those for other relations such as father, sister, brother, aunt and uncle. What a lovely gift it would have been to receive one of these lovely bobbins on Mothers’ day.

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