Last week I received a most generous surprise gift from a good family friend. This delightful yarn holder belonged to Roger’s grandmother, and holds a ball of yarn spun from the wool of his brother’s sheep.

The yarn holder is a wooden globe on three tiny globe feet. It features a transfer scene with the name ‘Shanklin’ underneath. This is a small seaside town/village on the Isle of Wight, an island near the English south coast. It is a popular holiday destination, becoming so in Victorian times due to Queen Victoria’s association with the island. It is therefore the source of many souvenirs.

Though it is a souvenir from the Isle of Wight, the style of the yarn holder reveals that it was in fact made in Scotland, most probably in Mauchline. This was where this style of souvenir, called Mauchline Ware, was invented, and where its manufacture centred. Though it was many hundreds of miles away, the Isle of Wight was one of the primary trading customers for Muchline souvenir products.

Mauchline Ware was produced from the 1850s to 1933, with the height of manufacture from 1880 to 1900. I think mine is probably late Victorian.

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