Chapter 2 Carolyn Meacham's Scissors
At the time I was deciding on a fourth queen, Carolyn Meacham was shopping in the U.K.
Carolyn is The Best dealer in antique needlework tools, no question, and I'm convinced she is a bit magical in what she finds, collects and sells. Yes, she collects needlework tools as well as selling them. She's so disciplined about her own collection: when she finds something she wishes to keep, she sells something so that her collection doesn't grow.
So about the time I was mulling over a fourth queen and DH was convinced it should be Queen Victoria, Carolyn found a drop dead beautiful needle case she wanted to keep and to make room for it, she decided to sell a pair of scissors.
It happened that the scissors were commemorative scissors for Queen Victoria.
She put the scissors up for sale on eBay. I remember looking at the listing and thinking, hmmm, I want to bid on them and with my bid will go the fate of Victoria.
Still dithering about queens (checkered past or not, I was partial to Theodora and all those pearls), and still undecided, I left it to the fates: if I won the scissors, I would choose Queen Victoria.
I had left a sniping bid, that means, my bid wouldn't register on eBay until the last few seconds before the auction ended.
I watched the last 2 minutes of the auction; I watched the seconds click away, and the bids started rising. At about 12 seconds more bids, 10, 9, 8 and then there was a scramble and I couldn't follow it.
The auction ended, the dust cleared and a little green sign came up on eBay saying I had won the scissors. Victoria would be my fourth and final Queen.
So would I have stitched Victoria anyway, even if I hadn't won the scissors? Could be, I'll never really know.
I have collected antique needlework tools for years and years, and I had a small stash of Victoria commemorative tools -- a couple of thimbles, a tape measure, etc. I had heard about the scissors but I had never seen them for sale.
Look carefully at the scissors and you will see Queen Victoria's small crown on the handles. Look even more closely and you will see a Tudor Rose on the sheath. Queen Victoria Commemoratives were popular all the way through Queen Victoria's reign, as Chapter 4 will show you.
I saved a screen shot of Carolyn's original posting on eBay. Here they are as she presented them.