Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Family Treasure

I lost my Aunt Martha this past week who succumbed to cancer. She was a wonderful woman who loved her family. All of us converged onto Northwest Ohio to memorialize and celebrate.... which we do very well.

It is spring in Ohio. The temperatures are warmer and the flowering bulbs are beginning to reach for the sky. The crocuses are out and almost spent for the year. Below you see the wonderful clusters of crocuses in my Aunt Mariann's front yard.

As we sat at the wake on Tuesday, my mother bragged to other family members about her tatting son....(geeeeshhh). Having been self-taught, I never knew whether there were any other tatters in my family. One of our cousins described a shuttle she had from our Great Aunt Lucy Freyenberger (1878-1979). Surprisingly, she stated that she wanted to give it to me. I know how important our family heirlooms are and the traditions that follow them. To my amazement, she handed me a box before the funeral and in it was the shuttle below.

It's a Boye shuttle with a patent date of April 10, 1917. I thought..., "oh, cool another metal Boye shuttle."

But wait, I pulled out the bobbin and was very surprised to find it attached.

I have never seen a shuttle like this and need to research it a bit. Additionally, the point on the shuttle is bent back on itself. I don't know if this was standard, if Great Aunt Lucy bent is intentionally, or if it's been bent over the years of storage.

If you have knowledge of these shuttles, I'd be very interested in learning more.

And one more note....the baby bonnet is finished all but hiding two ends and adding ribbon. I will post something in the next couple days.

Until then, Happy Tatting!


  1. I'm sorry to read of your loss, but I'm glad that you have a wonderful family to get together and remember your aunt.

    What a cool shuttle! I've never seen one like that. It will be interesting to read what you learn about it.

    Looking forward to seeing the bonnet!

  2. I am so sorry to hear of your aunt's passing.

    That type of shuttle is mentioned in the book Tatting Shuttles of American Collectors by Heidi Nakayama. The arm that the bobbin is attached to is supposed to facilitate winding. The shuttle was first produced in 1915, with the patent being granted April 10, 1917. The book doesn't say when Boye stopped producing this model, but the standard Boye shuttle that we think of today was first made in 1922.

  3. I am sorry for your loss, John.

    Looking forward to seeing the finished bonnet.

  4. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, I hope the time with your family was blessed. The shuttle is quite intrigueing...most interesting how that bobbin swings out.

  5. So sorry for the loss of your aunt.
    My husband purchased a shuttle for me just like this about 10-15 years ago. PAT APPLD FOR is stamped on the edge below BOYE. More of the finish is worn off. The hook is bent toward the side which would be the left side in your picture and looks like it was made this way. I've seen one other like this in Pat S's collection that she brought to Shuttlebirds. I'm curious. Karen in OR

  6. I am sorry for the loss of your aunt,,

    I have never seen a shuttle like that, so I can't help, good luck with your research .

  7. I am sorry for your loss John,
    I have a shuttle just like that. the hook is a very nice hook pointing to the side.
    I will post a pick, but give me a few minutes to do it.