Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A 19th Century Etui

You may remember these beautiful 18th century examples of etui cases I shared from one of my last trips to London.  This one isn't as fabulous, but I think it's pretty nifty just the same.

As best I can tell, it is brass, set with cabochon turquoise, and is most likely from the 19th century. The seller suggested it was probably 1870's. It is very plain, perhaps even a little masculine, and it hangs from a chain. 

It's a very handy little thing. It has a button hook, a pen knife, a pencil and a pointy implement. Maybe a toothpick, maybe to clean under your nails... Something personal and yucky and not to be done in public, I'm sure... :)

The handiest of all, and the reason I purchased it, was for the button hook. On the go, it's hard to readjust little buttons on your costume without one, and it's impractical to carry around the full length one I have, which is about eight inches long. 

The knife is handy, too. In case I have any impromptu quills to sharpen... Or fruit to cut...

And the pencil is great. I have a little silver book that I'll have to share soon. I carry it with to a lot of events, in case I need to jot something down and it's not a moment I can whip out my phone. It hangs from a chatelain and has a little pencil and space for paper. 

Haha no comment on the pointy thing. Maybe if I get an errant poppyseed stuck in my teeth at tea time... Just kidding.


  1. Nifty, indeeed! I was thinking, and then it made sense, how we say, "Pen knife". Yes, now I understand it's original use to sharpen quills for one's pen! Thanks for the info.
    We get so used to saying something, that we don't always understand its original intent.

    1. Ya, until I learned different, I thought it was called a pen knife because it was small and shaped like a pen...