Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance
The artistic heart of West Cornwall's history

Notes:

Mrs Mary Nance is carding wool in a cottage on St Mary's, Isles of Scilly. Wool preparation was an organised home industry which gave a respectable living to the islander. Gibson made an effort to record everyday happenings such as this so that the way of life would not be forgotten. The device on the lady's lap is a shovel shaped implement onto which the raw wool from sheep was laid so that the piece in her right hand could be repeatedly passed over it to straighten it before being twisted into bundles as lie in dishes on the table ready for dying and spinning. The hide of the animal would be treated and made into clothing, shoes, buckets, etc. The flesh would be eaten, the bones and blood used as manure. Natural daylight illuminates the sitter and the work as oil to light the lanterns was rather precious, and smelly. Another photographs shows a spinning wheel inside the kitchen.

Mary Nance Cards Sheeps' Wool Ready For Spinning

Record Number: PEZPH : 1990.1195
Identification
Full name: Black And White Photograph
Brief description: Mrs Mary Nance is carding wool in a cottage on St Mary's, Isles of Scilly. Wool preparation was an organised home industry which gave a respectable living to the islander. Gibson made an effort to record everyday happenings such as this so that the way of life would not be forgotten. The device on the lady's lap is a shovel shaped implement onto which the raw wool from sheep was laid so that the piece in her right hand could be repeatedly passed over it to straighten it before being twisted into bundles as lie in dishes on the table ready for dying and spinning. The hide of the animal would be treated and made into clothing, shoes, buckets, etc. The flesh would be eaten, the bones and blood used as manure. Natural daylight illuminates the sitter and the work as oil to light the lanterns was rather precious, and smelly. Another photographs shows a spinning wheel inside the kitchen.
Production
Person: Gibson
Date: --
Place: --
Copyright
Authority: --
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