Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Thread Cabinet

I recently added to my collection of thread cabinets.  This one varies from my others.  It is a two drawer, shelf with eight thread guides.  It also has bone finials.  Even though the original pin cushion is missing, it is still a great piece.

I always wonder who originally owned it?  How did she use it?

Now I have some answers with this piece.

I have some family history!

Ann gifted the box to her daughter

It was owned By Constance (keeping the last name private).  

She was born in 1896 in Boston MA.  

Throughout her life everyone called her Christine, except her grandchildren - who called her Mimi.  

The box was a gift from her mother, Ann.  Ann is pictured on the right.

Ann had six children: Aida, Arthur, Gerard, Marjorie Roger and Christine.

Christine is the youngest - with the white bow on her head. Roger is next to her in a sailor style outfit.

Constance (Christine) and Roger

Christine and Roger were close.  

What fun, giggling together on the lawn.

They shared many laughs as children.  

Little did they know a war would someday separate them.

At some point in her childhood Christine stitched a sampler, still owned by the family.

Ann's son Roger was called Uncle Buzzy - he was a WWI Flying Ace.

Roger spent time in a German POW Camp in Landau Germany.

Here, he is pictured second from the left (white collar, part in the center of his hair).

Imagine their joy when he came home!

Christine Married Edmond and had three children.  

Only one, Patricia survived to adulthood.

This is Christine and her daughter Patricia in 1926.

Wonderful isn't it?

I don't have the year the thread cabinet was given by Ann to Christine. Perhaps it was a wedding gift?

The box was gifted by Ann to Christine. Christine later passed it to Patricia.  Patricia passed it to one of her daughters. It has since come to me (not family) and I will keep the family history with the box.  

The family permitted me to share this story with you.

These are a few of Christine's (Mimi's) grandchildren having fun at her summer home in Connecticut.

What a party! 

With those big smiles I can imagine that summers with Mimi were filled with fun parties.

drawers and shelf out

How was the box used?

Ann and Christine (Mimi) were ladies, with the means enabling them to not HAVE to sew.  

They stored basics in the box. Their maids did the majority of the sewing and mending for the household.

The cabinet is in very good condition. However, the pin cushion was worn out and removed before it came to me.

Top level of cabinet

Patricia, Christine's daughter made needlepoint pillows. The wools were to bulky for the dainty drawers of this thread cabinet. It was displayed in their home with empty drawers.

Here, with the lid off you can see a small spool of thread, the end of the thread extends through the bone eyelet.

With the lid replaced, the thread can be used, yet remain hidden.

Closeup of the bone finial - there are 12 total on this cabinet.

They about 3/4" tall. The grooves were painted with thin black lines.

I hope you enjoyed the story that came with the cabinet. Maybe one day we can see a picture of the sampler Mimi stitched.

I treasure this cabinet!


  1. This is a lovely, dreamy piece. The family sure knew the right home to place this in. What a special honor I would think. The historical background was fascinating to read. Really appreciate you putting this post together. I sure enjoyed it.

  2. What a great history - and story!!! I can't think of a better person to treasure it!

  3. Thank you Dawn. I sure did enjoy the story of the family and the pictures. It is a lovely cabinet. It must have been very practical to have the thread hanging out without any of them getting all tangled up, so why are they not selling these anymore? Or do they?

  4. Love the thread cabinet and I'm so glad you have the history of it too!

  5. Wow, that's wonderful! So special that you have the story behind the piece. And it's a beautiful cabinet too! Lucky you!

  6. What a beautiful cabinet with such a great story!! I loved this post - thanks!

  7. Oh, it's wonderful to have the heirloom (even though it's not from your family) AND to have the provenance as well. I'm not sure if I like the little chest or the family history best! I wish I had so much information about the few family heirlooms I've inherited. Thanks for sharing the beauty.

  8. I just adore these stories! Historical research is a favored activity of mine, and your blog is so rich with these wonderful details. Thank you for sharing them!

  9. This beautiful cabinet couldn't have found a better home than with you. It is so wonderful that you were able to find the story that goes with it. Thank you to the family for allowing you to share their story and photos.

  10. What a wonderful story, Dawn. Thank you for sharing it. This treasure could not have found a better caretaker than you!

  11. Loved the story and the pictures, a wonderful find! Thank you for sharing!

  12. This is wonderful - that you collect the history along with the thread cabinet.

  13. beautiful cabinet! how special to get such detailed history of it and the owners - fascinating!

  14. A beautiful sewing box with a sweet family history. I know you will treat it with respect and love.

  15. Love this cabinet! And how wonderful that you have such history to go with it. That is amazing! It is great that it has a home where it will be properly preserved and appreciated.

  16. thank you Dawn, for this lovely story!

  17. what a treasure Dawn. I love it. I know you will treasure it too

  18. What a fun history to have with the box!

  19. Wonderful that this cabinet and its history has survived in such good condition. Love it. I'm a Mimi too!

  20. Beautiful cabinet and story. What a treasure.


  21. How did you get so much info on the original owner of the thread box. A wonderful piece.

  22. This is a wonderful story! Thank you for writing it so beautiful and for the family so generously sharing a glimpse into Mimi's life.


Thanks for your comments!