Rare Painted Figural Cast Iron Frog, Toad Sewing Hemming Clamp, 19th Century
This is a very rare antique painted cast iron sewing/hemming clamp (third hand) in the form of a frog. This is an incredible example of a figural iron clamp.
It is in excellent condition. It is of possibly of German origin (not marked) and probably from the mid 1800s. It is all original. The frog has its original glass eyes- one of which is damaged. There are remnants of the original green/yellow paint on the frog.
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 extension behind the frog, his 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.
A similar clamp can be seen in Antique Needlework Tools and Embroideries by Nerylla Taunton and in the Collection of the Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, New Jersey.
A similar example was sold on Ruby Lane Antiques for $4644.
Approximate Dimensions: At the widest part it measures 6 "across. It is 8" high.
Condition: Excellent. The only condition issue, and it's a small one, is that one glass eye is damaged (see photos).