thought for the day

I was after a needlecase, and found a nice old one on ebay. I always like it when these things contain their original threads and notions. But what really drew me to this particular case was its prim little maxim:

These lines are conventional, and may appear elsewhere, but I know them from William King’s poem, The Art of Cookery (1708), notable for its enthusiastic celebration of eighteenth-century British food, “squab pie” and “white pot” and “Leicester beans and bacon, food of kings!”

“Happy the Man that has each Fortune tried,
To whom she much has giv’n, and much deny’d:
With abstinence all delicates he sees,
And can regale himself with Toast and Cheese:
Your Betters will despise you if they see
Things that are far surpassing your degree;
Therefore beyond your substance never treat,
‘Tis plenty in small fortune to be neat.”

Well, I’m off to make a PIE.

21 responses

  1. Thank you – I’ve just put a book on hold t the library, of this man’s life and his poems! I love a good “new” writer to read! :)

  2. This is gorgeous and you are so lucky to have nabbed it — these older sewing things are so hard to find these days outside of expensive antique shops. But the poem — how wonderful,

  3. When I touch something old like that I always feel this connection to the past. It is something to treasure…It makes me wonder how different life was before email, cell phones, etc. Love that it came with the thread…Enjoy -

  4. “When come back, bring PIE” — sorry, my favorite Weeble & Bob comes to mind! What a charming needlecase. I would like to carry these pictures with me, the next time I attend the local crafts fair — there are often half a dozen leatherworkers’ kiosks, and it would be interesting to see if any were interested in making something like this. I wonder what prices they’d put on it? Probably more than I’d care to spend, but curiosity doesn’t cost.

  5. I got stuck on “needle case.” I never imagined that such things existed; that there was anywhere else to store needles except stuck into a spool of thread. (Not that this practice has served me well.) My eyes are opened …

  6. What an interesting and gorgeous little necessity ! I love the poem too. I have found that the little antique knick-knacks in my Loft Room where I knit & sew, all of which are my grandmother’s or my mom’s or my man’s mom’s. A little card of little real pearl buttons, so small they must be meant for baby sweater, little wooden spools of thread (little, as in half the size of modern threads), a gold plated thimble , and bric-a-brac from days gone by. I am boasting to add that I have a very cute couple of pin cushions that I personally made in my childhood and teen years, which weigh in importance to my foremothers’ objects de textile arte. Perhaps I”ll make a post of them all , and you can see.
    In any case, the needles have a very stately presence in one’s Life of Textiles, I do think, and you have made a *find* there Kate !

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