MID 19th CENTURY FIGURAL SOLID BRASS SEWING HEMMING BIRD with IRON CLAMP and BRASS BEESWAX RESERVOIR
This wonderful stylistic brass bird is an English 'sewing bird' made in the mid 19th century. It was clamped to the table while sewing (note the heart thumbscrew). It has a strong iron spring under the tail of the solid brass bird. When you squeeze the bird's tail, its mouth opens to receive the fabric being sewn and hold it in its mouth.
It was so useful to the seamstress; it was often referred to as a 'third hand'. The reservoir at the top held beeswax used to sharpen the needles.
Reference: Sewing Tools & Trinkets by H. Thompson p. 134.
Approximate Dimensions: The bird is 3.75" long and the entire clamp is 5" high (from the beak to the bottom of the heart thumbscrew). The wingspan is 2".
The Condition: Shows minor wear as expected from age & use. There is no damage or repairs.