Portrait of a woman with a young girl holding a sewing bird


A sewing bird is a type of needlework table clamp that supports a bird on its top. The lower body of the bird is stationary while the upper body is hinged, and there is a spring in the tail. When the upper and lower tail ends are squeezed together, the beak opens, allowing the edge of a fabric to be placed in it. When the tail is released, the beak closes on the fabric, holding it securely while the sewer pulls it taut for stitching a hem or seam. This particular type of sewing bird, credited to Charles Waterman of Meridian Connecticut, dates from the 1850s and was used for plain sewing rather than fancy needlework. The daguerreotype itself also dates from the mid-19th century, although the maker and subjects are unknown.

Date Made: Mid-19th Century

Maker: unknown

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: Sewing and KnittingGirlsWomenPortraits


See more items in: Work and Industry: Photographic History, Photography, Textiles


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2004.0116.01Accession Number: 2004.0116Catalog Number: 2004.0116.01

Object Name: Photographdaguerreotype

Physical Description: metal, copper (overall material)glass (overall material)wood (overall material)leather (overall material)fabric, velvet (overall material)Measurements: overall: 8.1 cm x 9.2 cm x 1.9 cm; 3 3/16 in x 3 5/8 in x 3/4 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ab-786b-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1274229

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