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Unravelling the mystery of the embroidery lead weights

Lead weights.

Lead weights.

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira. 2002.123.1

One of our Human History Collection Managers recently came across these mysterious objects in storage. They are described as "lead weights for embroidery", but we are curious to know how they would have been used.

Have you seen anything like these objects before? They are a range of sizes, from 65mm to 145mm, and solid lead – too heavy for something delicate like lace making. As you can see from the photo, some of them still have pink and yellow thread wrapped around their ends.

Can you help us work out how these objects were used?

If you think you know how these weights would have been used, please get in touch. Send your ideas to us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the hashtag #AMcollection.