Collecting Antique Sewing Needle Books


Needle Books are considered antique artwork. Since most needle books aren’t dated, it often takes some historical sleuthing to pinpoint its vintage. For example, although the Woolworth Building was built in 1913, the book’s origin, “Western Germany,” places it between 1949 and 1990 (when the two Germanys united). The final clue is the 19-cent price tag, which roughly narrows the date to the mid-20th century.

Woolworth Needle Book What’s the book value?
The most common needle books–for example, those with national five-and-dime chain-store logos–can be sewn up for under $15, while rarities such as giveaway ad books, picture pop-ups, or books reflecting such historic events as Lindbergh’s Atlantic crossing may sell for $25 and up. We’ve seen eBay battles between determined collectors drive prices up to $100 and more.

The political-clock book (1925) and early-20th-century coal-bucket promotion were giveaways. The Japanese-made “Broadway” book (c. 1940s), Czech “Delta” book, and German “Ladies” book (both c. 1920s) were sold in U.S. variety stores. The Old-Fashioned Townscape Antique Needle Book made its debut in the late 19th century until the 1950s, humble sewing-needle books were also wonderful little works of art that depicted subjects ranging from women shopping together, household objects, buildings and townscapes to such contemporary milestones as the advent of dirigibles. Read more here.