A tailoring tool of a bygone era, this small chisel was most likely used to precisely cut cloth in the making of small button holes. Actually the thread embroidering was worked on the whole cloth and then the chisel applied to thin piece of fabric within the center of the embroidering, followed by a gentle tap or push to the chisel, and lo—a button hole. This example has an edge length of just ¼ inch; so it is for making small shirt or bodice button holes. The amazingly ornate tool stands 5 inches tall (5 ¼ inches with the tubular brass blade guard screwed on). The wooden handle is dark rosewood, and is 3 inches long, and 1 1/8 inches diameter at the top. It has a small brass cap at the top that shows a little denting from being tapped. This brass cap is finely knurled and unscrews to reveal a small tapered rod about an inch long that may serve to ream out small imperfect holes in buttons, or to pick up loose threads. The lower half of the handle is decorated with complex turnings. The upper third of it is hand checkered with into fine squares that allow a firm gripping surface. The handle has a lower brass ferrule in which is set a steel barrel about 1 inch long that terminates with a threaded segment to receive the blade guard. The small chisel extends just 5/8 of an inch below this. A most appealing tool, it is high Victorian in form and is unmarked but surely English. Probably dating from the latter half of the 19th century. It is a great item for a sewing or chisel collection. Rare and Fine.
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