Tudor (1485-1603), Elizabethan Cast Silver Bodkin and Integral Ear Scoop, c. 1580-1600, Engraved "A H" and Simplified but Detailed Floral Motif, 10.74g, 135mm. x 5.5mm. x 2mm. (Beaudry , 96; BM 1853.0627.78), lightly cleamed with surface bruising to pin end, otherwise a pleasingly good very fine, scarce.
"A Rare Collection of Early Cutlery, Personal Implements, Measuring Devices and Scientific Instruments, The Property of a Gentleman", Spink 20020, 27 January 2020, lot 170
The main function of a bodkin was to thread bands of cords through a corset or other items of clothing. The ribbon or cord was threaded through the rectangular slit. A secondary function for bodkins was to punch holes in leather and other textiles such like a needle. Some examples have an additional small eye for suspending from a belt or chatelaine.
The small scoop was used to pick earwax. Earwax was found to be an excellent lubricant for smoothing rough or frayed threads back into usable pieces of sewing yarn!
Estimate: £300 - £400