Rare Paint Decorated Figural Cast Iron Bird Sewing Hemming Clamp, 19th Century
This is a rare paint decorated mid 19th century iron sewing/hemming clamp (third hand) in the form of a bird in flight.
It is in excellent condition. It is all original. The maker is unknown.
Sewing birds/clamps acted as a third hand for the seamstress, holding the piece of fabric taut, which allowed sewers to sit up straight rather than hunch over their work. They were advertised at the time as having "health preserving" properties as these clamps allowed for proper posture while working over a piece of sewing.
When you press on the tail of the bird it's mouth opens to receive the fabric that is to be sewn (shown in photo). The original key to fasten it to the table is still present as well.
Condition: As found, excellent condition, especially the paint! No damage or repairs evident.
Approximate Dimensions: Height of the total clamp 4.5", The bird itself is 3.5" long.