The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Shuttle
  • Shuttle
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France, Paris
  • 1768 - 1769
  • Rock crystal, gold and garnets
  • Length: 133 mm
    Width: 43 mm
    Height: 27 mm
  • Discharge mark: for Julian Alaterre (1768-1774)
    Hallmark: Paris, for 1768 - 1769
  • W223
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Commentary
History
Images & Media
  • Shuttles, unlike snuffboxes which were used by both gentlemen and ladies, were particularly feminine accessories used for knotting. Knotting was an acceptable past-time for society ladies, and involved knotting thread at close intervals in order to make a narrow trimming that was then couched in patterns onto another fabric. The thread was wound onto a shuttle such as this one, although this exquisite example must have been owned by an extremely affluent woman. Shuttles like this were designed to be taken to pieces in order to retrieve the thread more easily. The garnets here provide the heads of screws that can be released to remove the thread from the shank of the shuttle.