I'd never seen a nickel-plated cast iron toy sewing machine like this one before. It was made in Berlin, Germany around 1896. The black one behind it was made during World War II in Nuremberg, Germany. What a lovely little thing to be made during such dark times.
I love the decals on these two little black beauties. The one in the foreground is a Muller Model #20 from pre-World War II Germany. I forgot to copy down the info on the one in back!
I was especially enchanted by this little child's machine in a velvet-lined case. It is another Muller model and dates to 1900 Germany. What a lucky child to have been gifted that machine!
And this tiny pre-World War II treasure was marketed as the smallest sewing machine in the world in pre-World War II Germany. It's aptly named the "Liliputian".
I loved these fanciful Black Forest bear thread stands and thimble holders from Germany. In the lower right, you can see a small silver seam knife and dagger scissors in a brass sheath, made circa 1850.
The exhibit also featured some nifty American-made notions and this sweet little sewing machine. Made by Foley & Williams, the "Reliable" was marketed for light sewing, travel, and children. According to the exhibit card, the first models sold in Montgomery Ward catalogs for $3.50-$5. I've often thought it would be fun to travel back in time to an old 19th-century or turn-of-the-20th century general store, buy a bunch of treasures, and travel back to the current day to enjoy them!
This little brass machine was labeled "Tabitha"—the same name as my sewing machine, Tabitha the treadle. If you're interested, you can see my Tabitha in this post. This little Tabitha was manufactured in 1885 in New York City.
And here are various American-made sewing notions—needle books, thimble holders, pincushions, tape measures, and pin disks—all from one woman's collection.
These notions all hail from the United Kingdom. Do you see the thimble holders in the shape of a goat cart, a brass shoe, and Jack and Jill figures with their water pail? There were also some lovely thread winders, pincushions, and emeries.
I love the bunny and roller skate tape measures in this photo. Do you see the needle case in the shape of a parasol? The designs are all so clever!
I hope you'll come back later this week to see the nifty little notion I found while exploring the local antiques shops.