- Museum number
Silver-gilt nécessaire of needle-case, scissors and thimble. The scissor blades are in steel. The needle-case and scissors are cast and chased with three different designs on each side in shallow relief of girls shown engaged in various needlework activities. The thimble is decorated with waist-length figures. Maker's mark. In the original labelled leather case embossed on the lid with two figures of women sewing and stamped with the owner's initials.
- Production date
Height: 2.50 centimetres (thimble)
Width: 14.20 centimetres (case)
- Curator's comments
- Text from catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift (Gere et al) no. 1143:
Frédéric-Charles-Victor de Vernon (1858-1912), medallist and sculptor, studied at the École des Arts Décoratifs with J.C. Chaplain, having previously worked at die-sinking with Paulin Tasset. He won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1887. In the 1890s he began making designs for his friend and contemporary from the École des Arts Décoratifs, Julien Duval, who made both the nécessaire and the 'Gallia' medal (1152) in this collection. See Vever 1908-12 (111, p. 559) and Forrer 1904 - 30.
The thimble in this set was designed at the request of President Kruger to celebrate the marriage of the young Queen Wilhelmina of Holland in 1900; it is fully discussed and illustrated by Vever (1908-12, 111, p. 560; see Fig. 114). It was known as the thimble 'de la Reine'; the same title was given to the needlecase. The thimble cost frs. 25 and the needlecase frs. 40. The scissors and needlecase were not designed until later and are illustrated in La Revue de la Bijouterie (1903, 111, pp. 266-7). See also Vever 1908-12 (111, p. 560, ill.); Art & Decoration, February 1903, suppl. p. 6; La Revue de la Bijouterie, 1901, 111, pp.166-8, 7 1903, Vl, p. 263. (Charlotte Gere).
See 1152 for another Vernon-Duval collaboration.
Information supplementary to Hull Grundy catalogue:
See also Charlotte Gere and Judy Rudoe, 'Knowledge, Money and Time: Anne Hull Grundy as a Collector of Victorian Jewellery', Journal of The Decorative Arts Society, no.24 (2000) . Fig. 21; Judy Rudoe, 'Cartier in the Nineteenth Century', Jewellery Studies, vol. 9 (2001), Figs. 29 & 30.
See also two articles on Vernon in 'La Revue des Arts Décoratifs', March 1901, pp. 965-72, with discussion and illustration of needlecase, and April, pp.113-121.
For more recent discussion of this thimble, see Magdalena and William Isbister, 'The story of two royal thimbles', 2011 (http://thimbles.zzl.org/Royal_thimbles.html), which notes that no evidence has been found to confirm Vever's statement that the thimble was given to Queen Wilhelmina by President Kruger. The article further suggests that this thimble may have been confused with another thimble, also designed by Vernon, depicting the Queen in different stages of her life with the royal arms; this second thimble was made to commemorate Wilhelmina's wedding by the Maison A.Féau, who presented a gold version to the Queen in 1901 which still survives in the Dutch Royal collection.
- Not on display
- Associated events
- Commemoration of: Marriage of Wilhelmina
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Nonesuch Antiques, 124-5 New Bond Street, London W1. Original invoice for £650 to Anne Hull Grundy dated 11.6.1980, described as 'Needlework box, signed Vernon'.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: HG.1082 (masterlist number)