Special Note Concerning Prices Seen Below:
Most prices seen reflect actual sale results from this website. Prices seen
span a long period of time and may not reflect current values. Some
are selling for more, many now sell for less. On some pieces you will see no price, or a price range,
with or without an explanation. The reasons for that are discussed on the FAQ page.
Iron Figural Swan Head Sewing Clamp
This is a very interesting
looking small sewing clamp that has a lot of character. It is only about
3" tall and is finished in a gold wash. The casting is very nice, and the beaded
decoration at the base is a nice touch. It looks a lot like a swan
head, and the lower part of the jaw swings in and is spring loaded to grip the
fabric. It works well.
Very Good + . . . . . $195.00 SOLD!
Figural Barracuda Sewing Clamp with Pincushion
First there were
just Plain Jane utilitarian sewing clamps to help seamstresses perform their
tasks acting as third hands. Over time many different figural examples were
made. The were a number of patents issued for sewing clamps over the years
and one for a sewing bird / clamp was issued in 1853. Designs evolved
to be more elaborate and clamps portrayed numerous other animals and creatures.
Many were custom made and are one of a kind creations and very rare. That
is the case with this example of a swimming Barracuda. It is one I have
never seen before. It looks to date from the 19th century and may predate
the 1853 patents that were issued for birds.
This antique sewing clamp stands a bit over 9" tall and the Barracuda / fish
is approx 5" long. Every aspect is well done, from the turned screw to
the cast the heart shaped / turnip shaped thumbscrew at the bottom. The
fish can swivel back and forth as though it is swimming. The spring is
good, and the Barracuda's teeth are cut to help hold fabric. The design
of the frame is great with its sweeps and chamfered sharp edges flowing into
rounded ones. A rare and unique specimen of a great form, and very
unusual antique figural sewing clamp.
Excellent. . . . .$995.00 SOLD!
Serpent / Snake Figural Brass Sewing Clamp w/ Pincushion
a very graphic and nicely designed sewing clamp with a figural critter head
to hold the fabric, and a pin cushion over a needle drawer in a decorated box
mounted on the frame behind the figural head. It is about 5" tall, and
just under 3" wide. The red velvet cloth on the pincushion is original
and shows some wear. It has developed a nice patina and is a very unusual
Very Good + . . . . .$595.00 SOLD!
Butterfly Sewing Clamp w/ 2 Pincushions
This is one of the
rarest of American sewing clamps that can be found. This is one of
just a couple I have seen in over 25 years of looking for them. It is
nickel plated brass and the condition is fabulous. The spring is very
strong and the butterfly's mouth grips fabric very well. There are two
pin cushions and both appear to be original. The butterfly itself measures
about 3" long, and the entire clamp stands about 5" tall overall.
The butterfly sewing clamps were made under the same patent as the commonly
seen sheet brass sewing birds that have the 1853 patent information stamped
on the wing. The other figural or animal forms never really
caught on, and while the sewing birds made under this patent are relatively
common, even to the point of still being made today, the other versions, like
this one, were only offered for a short period and quickly faded into history.
A rare find! All original and ready for display.
Very Good ++ . . . . .$1495.00 SOLD!
Iron Mallard Duck Head Sewing Clamp with Pincushion
sewing clamp stands just about 7" tall and the duck head is a bit over 6" long.
The head is cast iron and every aspect is highly detailed right down to the
The spring is present, and it grips fabric well. The pincushion fabric
is a red velvet that looks like it may have been replaced in the past.
But it is not as bright as my picture came out. The bottom clamp is cast
brass. A seldom seen sewing clamp that has great form, and will be a highlight
of the display.
Very Good . . . . .$695.00 SOLD!
Brass Mallard Duck Head Sewing Clamp with Pincushion
sewing clamp is similar to the cast iron one above. It is cast brass
and has a few other subtle differences. It is not just a copy or
recast of that version. It stands just about 7" tall but the duck
head is only 5" long. The inside of the mouth is pebbled-like to create a gripping
surface and from what I remember very much like a ducks tongue, or like a cats
tongue if you have ever felt that. The spring is good, and it grips fabric
The holder for the pincushion has a series of holes along the edge to help
with attaching the fabric---a nice design touch. The pincushion fabric
is a red velvet that looks like it may have been replaced. This type of
sewing clamp dates from the mid to late 19th century and is a great example
of how the design and art of these devices evolved from simple utilitarian devices
to pieces of art. A wonderful example of a great figural sewing
Very Good . . . . .$795.00 SOLD!
Cue Snake Sewing Clamp w/ Pincushion
This antique figural sewing
clamp has a great double curly-cue shape. It is very graphic and obviously
represents a snake.
The design of the spring loaded head / clamp is very different from the norm
and works fine. The spring loaded mounting clamp is also completely different
from what is typically encountered. You pull down on the spring loaded
lever to open the jaws and it self-clamps into place. It is an interesting
design I have never seen used on a sewing clamp before. The pincushion
has decorative tucks that look to have been purposefully done to help create
a look of petals or leaves.
This antique snake form sewing clamp stands just about 7" tall and the tailed
snake including the double loops is about 6" long . This sewing clamp
has a great look and is a unique one of a kind creation that will display very
well and be a highlight of the different forms you can find.
Very Good . . . . .$895.00 SOLD!
Dog / Irish Setter Figural Sewing Clamp w/ Pincushion
This is only
the third one of these unusual figural sewing clamps I have had in over 25 years
of dealing in antiques and sewing birds / figural clamps and other sewing accessories.
I have seen just a few others in all that time offered for sale. A rare
bird, or dog in this instance!
This figural sewing clamp has a great look, and great action. The dog
is sitting on his bed, that doubles as a pincushion or work holder. You
can open his mouth by pushing on the small lever between his feet. This
portion works fine. It is approx 5" tall, and just over 3" long.
My understanding is that it was made under the same patent as the commonly seen
patent dated sewing birds, but that these alternative forms were not popular
back then and few were made. It is not marked, but it is real, and a super
rare piece, in super condition. Opportunity is scratching at the
Very Good + . . . . .$1595.00 SOLD!
Elk / Reindeer Sewing Clamp w/ 2 Spool Pins
This cast iron figural
sewing clamp is a great piece of American folk art / Americana. It transcends
the category of sewing accessories and figural sewing clamps and is one of the
nicest figural pieces of folk art I have ever handled.
Look at the detail and construction of this rare piece. It is truly
a wonder that it survived intact the last 100 + years. It is approx 9"
tall, and just over 5" wide across the bone spool pins. It is a one of
a kind unique piece and will be a highlight and topic of conversation of any
A bit of provenance: I first bought this sewing clamp about 20
years ago at a farm and engine show in the Midwest. It was in a display
case with a bunch of rare spark plugs and unusual wrenches. It was not
for sale. It was on display. I was impressed but also concerned
as I knew the present owner was going to arrive the next day and he would be
on this like........ I spent 3-4 hours with the fellow who owned it trying
to get it out of the case. He kept saying it was not for sale, it
was on display. I kept asking why. Finally I changed my tune and
I made him an offer I can not even remember the details of. It was substantial
though, and he opened the case and handed it to me. I held on to it for
2-3 years and then traded it for another great piece (a pencil sharpener) that
was not for sale from the same fellow who was to show up the next day.
Now some 15 years later here it is again, and this time it has a price on it
and trades are not an option. A reindeer---think of it as a gift from
Santa if you need an excuse. A fleeting opportunity that will not repeat
itself again for another 20 or more years if ever.
Excellent - Very Good + . . . . .$2995.00 SOLD!
Steel Thread Winder / Spool Sewing Clamp
Cut steel is a medium that originated in Europe and is thought to have been
introduced as early as the 16th century. It has a great look, and it was
mostly used for jewelry, pins, or buckles, and to find other objects in this
medium is quite unusual. This antique thread winder is about 6" tall and
has a wonderful faceted design of leaves on a vine with faceted and polished
edges that shimmer and "glows" in the light. It is a wonderful example and
displays very nicely.
Very Good . . . . .$395.00 SOLD!
Brass Figural Scaly Dog / Creature Sewing Clamp w/ Hook
a very interesting looking sewing clamp that has just the hook you see at the
tail to use to hold the work---usually referred to as a netting hook.
It is only about 4" tall and is a great casting. It looks like a mythical
creature with a dog head and scales to me. It is otherwise unmarked.
Very Good + . . . . .$325.00 SOLD!
Winged Cherub Gilded Brass Sewing Clamp Pincushion
a favorite theme of the Victorian era. This unusual brass sewing clamp
has a beautiful winged cherub below the nicely decorated blue pincushion. The
body is gilded and retains a lot of the original finish. Note there is
a hole through the body that would allow a user to tie off an accessory or work.
A nice added touch. It is about 6" tall, and the pin cushion about
2 1/4" diameter. A very nice piece of Victorian era workmanship!!
Very Good-Excellent . . . . .$395.00 SOLD!
Polished Steel / Wood & Ivory Thread Winders / Spool Winders
are very showy with their mix of materials and heart shaped thumb screws in
the polished frames. Thread winders like this would date from the 19th
century or before. These two examples are very nice.
Very Good . . . . .$195.00 / Pair SOLD!
Dog Sewing Clamp The sewing
clamp became the 19th century seamstress' third hand. Fastened to a work
table, it acted as a vise of sorts to securely hold the fabric being worked,
enabling it to be held taut while being hand-stitched. Manufacturers
promoted the health-related benefits of these products, claiming they eliminating
rounded shoulders and stooped backs while sewing, but clearly for the lady of
comfortable means who could afford it, these needlework tools were pieces of
art that were treasured symbols of status and were often given as tokens of
love. Far rarer than the numerous variations of "sewing birds" were clamps in
the shapes of animals and other mythological creatures. Undoubtedly the
figural dog clamp is one of the most sought-after of all the figural needlework
clamps, and this puppy has been my personal favorite for years!
The body of this example displays fine nickel-over-brass patina as well as excellent
detail. The black silk fabric pincushion cover has been replaced, with
the cushion itself being original. If you are a collector of antique needlework
tools, this is the piece that will put you in the top of your class!
Very Good. . . . .$1295.00 SOLD!
Rosewood Sewing Clamp Pincushion
This is a very nice pin
cushion sewing clamp. The condition is super, and the pincushion is original.
It is turned rosewood or other exotic dark hardwood and dates from the late
19th century. A nice piece.
Excellent . . . . .$175.00 SOLD!
Ivory Thread Winders / Spools
These antique ivory sewing
clamp spool winders are about the same size but slightly different in design
and construction. Both are very nice and damage free. They may be
English or from New England and date from the 19th century.
Very Good . . . . .$195.00 SOLD!!
Figural Sewing Clamp w/ Sea Shell Pincushion W/ Thread Winder
This unusual figural sewing clamp has a sea shell
pincushion. A very nice
piece of mid 19th century to Victorian era workmanship!!
Excellent . . . . . .$395.00 SOLD!
Polished Steel Figural Sewing Clamp w/ Shell Pincushion
unusual figural sewing clamp has a stylized animal clamp below the unusual shell
pincushion. The bird / critter has a nose or beak, but it could represent
any number of different animals. The spring to operate it is good.
The U shaped clamp portion is decorated with a shield and a lot of filed scallops
and beveled edges. It is a finely crafted example that is about
6 1/2" tall, and the seashell pincushion is about 2" long. A very nice
piece of mid 19th century to Victorian era workmanship!!
Excellent . . . . . .$325.00 SOLD!
Brass Stylized Sewing Clamp
This is an unusual stylized sewing
clamp. The base clamp is a well cast brass that has been gilded or finished
with a high golden luster. On top of that is a decorative piece that looks
like a shield. It is brass, but has aged and has a darker Patina than
below. The top clamp is brass as well and the decoration on the top is
an arrow with feathers engraved into the top. The spring to operate it
is OK. It is a finely crafted and sturdy example that is about 7" tall.
A very nice piece of mid 19th century to Victorian era workmanship!!
Excellent . . . . .$275.00 SOLD!
Blacksmith Made Antique Iron Sewing Clamp
sewing clamp is fashioned from forged iron and a lot of handwork went into finishing
and fashioning the different pieces. It has an interesting clamp system with
an eccentric toothed wheel that swings around to act as the clamp.
It is just about 6" tall and 5 1/2" wide. Note the bearing plate is a
cut-out heart shape, as is the thumbscrew. Someone has applied two foreign
coins to the screw to spread the pressure when using it. This is a good
looking sewing clamp with a good patina that is ready for display.
Very Good ........ $275.00 SOLD!!
Steel Sewing Clamp w/ Pincushion
an unusual sewing clamp with a red pincushion. The head has a nice shape and
the spring, because of the wishbone shape, is very stiff and the clamp is very
tight. It has a very finely cut out thumbscrew. The sewing clamp
is about 7 1/2" tall, and the pin cushion is about 1 1/2" diameter.
It has been cleaned and polished, and is ready for the collection and display.
Very Good . . . . .$225.00 SOLD!!
Antique White Brass / German Silver Sewing Clamp w/ Pincushion
This antique sewing clamp is fashioned from a very light colored brass
or German Silver and has a great look and form. A lot of hand finish work
went into the different edges and corners. The knurling on the rounds
and especially at the top of the pincushion has a pleasing look and feel to
pincushion fabric is a replacement and looks great.
It has an interesting stylized form and is just about 7" tall and 4 1/2"
long. The spring is strong and it works well. This is a good looking
sewing bird / sewing clamp and is ready for display.
Very Good . . . . . .$395.00 SOLD!!
Cast Iron Sewing Clamp w/ Box Pincushion
This sewing clamp
is about 5" tall. It has an interesting design with the critter head and
clamp in front of the cast iron box with a red velvet pincushion on top.
The paint is in very nice condition, and the clamp spring works fine.
It is a great looking antique sewing bird with nice detailing. The pincushion
on top is in super condition. The thumbscrew has an interesting cross
hatch design detail. It is in remarkably good condition and is a very
Very Good . . . . . .$275.00 SOLD!!
Machinist Made Sewing Clamp w/ Pincushion
This unusual sewing
clamp was machine made by a highly skilled craftsperson / machinist. The
side is stamped with a number 1909 which could very well be the date, although
it could date from earlier than that as well. The clamp is in an amazing
state of preservation and still retains nearly all of its original lacquer finish.
It is a wonderful golden color. The top pincushion is original but did
not wear nearly as well and could do with a new outer covering being applied.
It is about 8 1/2" tall, and the pin cushion is about 1 1/2" diameter.
A very nice looking and graphic sewing clamp.