18th century gold & shagreen sewing etui

18th century gold & shagreen sewing etui


Rare and wonderful George III sewing etui, or nécessaire, decorated with green shagreen panels bounded with 18ct gold banding and decorated with beautiful and delicate flowerhead beading. The push-button lid opens to reveal the complete and original accessories, each fitting into its designated place.

· Tortoiseshell penknife with silver blade, inlaid with gold decoration
· Gold bodkin
· Gold earwax remover (the wax was used to stiffen the cotton to aid threading)
· Gold pick & pencil
· Ivory note card
· Steel scissors with gold handles.

Shagreen is a type of rawhide consisting of rough untanned skin, historically from a horse's or onager's (wild ass) back, or from shark or ray.

An etui was a small case to contain implements for writing, manicure or sewing, and so-named after the French word
estuier meaning to keep. In the 1700s these small objects were an essential element of one's fashionable costume and even gentlewomen would make a statement about their wealth and status by wearing silver and gold etuis, sometimes decorated with precious stones.

This little work of art is in superb and original condition.


Height 97 mm / 4"
Width 39 mm / 1 34"
Depth 16 mm / 1"