A beautiful and detailed sweetheart pin cushion dating to the First World War. It is heart shaped and made of red and white cotton, and is firmly stuffed with sawdust. It is skilfully decorated with small glass beads and sequins attached with pins, paper scraps, ribbon and fabric scraps. In the middle is a printed card image of the regimental badge for the Royal Engineers. Also included are the paper flags of the Allied countries, Britain, France and Russia, and also Belgium, along with two paper horseshoes for luck. Round the edge of the heart is a tassel fringe. The pin cushion is in generally good condition - a few of the pins and beads are missing and there is minor soiling, but this is to be expected bearing in mind its age.
Sweetheart pin cushions were usually made by convalescing soldiers as presents for sweethearts at home and are delightfully romantic souvenirs of a bygone age. They were popular from the period of the Crimean War until World War 1. Kits were sent to soldiers to make up so common motifs and materials are often seen. The resulting pin cushions are fine and poignant examples of folk art.