1 more whatzit in metal and bone

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by vintagerobin, Jun 15, 2023.

  1. vintagerobin

    vintagerobin Well-Known Member

    Ok, this one can't be a medical tool. :)

    It's bone on each end with a metal sleeve in the middle. One end comes out and flips around to what looks like a tiny crochet hook. The other end had a point at one time, I'm assuming.

    It is marked with a patent date of Jun. 29, '80. But a patent search for that date brings up nothing. And a search for June 1880 brings up thousands of things.

    What is this used for?

    Thanks in advance!


    komokwa likes this.
  2. Hollyblue

    Hollyblue Well-Known Member

    Blood letting needle possibly.
    sabre123 and Boland like this.
  3. Boland

    Boland Well-Known Member

    Well that’s something!
    Potteryplease likes this.
  4. vintagerobin

    vintagerobin Well-Known Member

    Never Mind. I managed to find it in the patent records. The broken end was a crocheet hook.

    Figtree3, bercrystal and kyratango like this.
  5. Northern Lights Lodge

    Northern Lights Lodge Well-Known Member

    Yes, definitely a crochet hook! Often the smaller one of the two could be pulled out and stuck into the sleeve for safety; sometimes both ends! Sometimes one end was just an "awl" used for piercing leather or fabric.

    Cool piece! I have several!
    Cheerio, Leslie
  6. bluumz

    bluumz Quite Busy

    komokwa likes this.
  7. Northern Lights Lodge

    Northern Lights Lodge Well-Known Member

    Hi @bluumz.
    Could it be a lace-making tool, such as a pricker?

    Although it is possible it is a lacemaking tool like a pricker...and the fine crochet hook end (broken) was probably used for lacy crochet.... the other pointy end was probably not a "pricker" persay. It is really too slender for an awl; but would have been useful to start a hole in dense fabric.

    A lacemaking pricker; was usually a short compact piece of wood shaped so that it was comfortable in the hand and had either an embedded short needle (pointy end out) or a "pin vice" installed. The pin vice was a clamp which could hold a needle. The advantage over an embedded short needle is that if you needle broke; it was easy to slip out the broken needle and slip in a new one. Older model prickers with no pin vice were often sidelined once they had a broken needle.

    The length on the sharp end of the pictured unit; is really (in my lacemaker mind) wayyyyy too long to make a good "lacemaker pricker"; and the grip way too slender. With a long needle like that; you wouldn't have very good control of where you want an "exactly placed" pin hole on a paper pattern and to hold something so slender for many hours on end while you pricked your pattern would cause slipping and cramping.

    So, I'm back to crochet hooks!
    Cheerio Leslie
  8. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    It's a old medical tool/needle, as soon as I saw it I went down to my 1810's apothecary box to make sure and yes there is one very close to yours in there, also I recently sold another surgeons tool box form the 1790's that also had 2 of these in there. Often the metal parts are silver, mine are ivory and have long lids but the one I sold had plugs and a tube so the needle could be kept out of harms way just like yours.
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