This worked bone tambour hook, also known as a tambour needle, was excavated during one of the digs conducted at the Commonwealth Block site between 1988 and 2003. It was found in in-situ demolition, in an under floor deposit. This type of tool was used in lace making.

Working in Little Lon.
Alongside the tightly packed cottages, commercial enterprise thrived in little Lon. Shops sold food and 'fancy goods'. Factories and workshops manufactured bellows, furniture, waterproof clothing and ice cream.

In the 1880s grocers flourished, and in the 1890s clothing firms and Chinese cabinet-makers dominated the local manufacturing scene. But Little Lon's most numerous businesses were the myriad hotels and brothels.

It is easy to overlook the 'invisible' work carried out in people's homes. Because such work was rarely documented we rely on things left behind to tell the story. The abundance of lace bobbins dug up at Little Lon hints at a lace-making industry and busy lives otherwise hidden from history.

Physical Description

This is a worked bone tambour hook. It has a raised dot design over most of the implement and one end screws off. It is broken in two pieces.

Physical Description

Bone lace-making tool. Broken in two pieces. One end screws off. Raised dot design over most of implement. 8.8 cm long, 6 mm diameter. This was originally thought to be ivory but was identified as bone by the Museum's Conservation Department in May 1999. Found in in-situ demolition; underfloor deposit.

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