This is the place to come to learn about Avery style needle cases.

Golden Casket - Butterfly on Leaf

Butterfly on Leaf 
needle case
Needle Case

UK Patent 1868-3517 drawing

Design Details

Needle Case Type:


Patent/Registered to:

William Avery, Redditch Needle Manufacturer and Albert Fenton of the same place, Machinist

Patent/Design Representation #:

Mechanical Patent: #3517

Patent/Design Registration Date:

November 19, 1868

Location of Patent/Design Registration:

British Library - Business and Intellectual Property Centre – London

Reference #:

1868-3517, Figures 7-10


3.3 x 7



Name Variations:

a) W. Avery & Son - Redditch
b) D. H. Evans & Co - London
c) Thomas Harper - Redditch
d) Mappin Bros. - London
e) Melliship & Harris - Westbourne Grove, London
c) Morton - Cheapside, London
f) T. Pellett - London
g) Thomas Savage - London
h) Stacy - London
i) J. W. Shutter - 133 Bishops Gate St City
j) B. B. Wells - London
k) unsigned

Other Variations:

See other Quadruples

US Patent

US 1870-98904

Additional Photographs

Detail views

Avery signature detail and Harper signature detail (photo from eBay)

Pellett signature detail and Savage signature detail (photos from eBay)

Wells and Morton signature details (photos from eBay)

Melliship & Harris signature detail and Mappin Bros. signature detail (photo from eBay)

Stacy signature detail (photograph courtesy of Margaret Decker) and Evans signature detail

Left: Shutter signature detail (photo from eBay) and right: unsigned front (photo courtesty of Lynda Herrod)

Unsigned back (photo courtesty of Lynda Herrod)


The High Brown Fritillaries butterfly shown here is found throughout Europe and Asia.  It seems most likely that this is the butterfly that W. Avery & Son used as the model for their butterfly needle cases.



Butterfly collecting was one of the most popular pastimes during the Victorian Era because the Industrial Revolution gave the middle class time for leisure activities.  Victorians loved nature and Darwin's "Origin of Species", published in 1859, revolutionized the way people thought about it.  The Speckled Wood butterfly seen here, which is also found in Northern and Central Europe, has many of the characteristic similar to the butterflies on Avery needle cases.



The Monarch is the best known North American butterfly.  Although rarely found in the UK, they first appeared in Australian and New Zealand in the mid-19th century.  The Monarch is renowned for its spring migration from Mexico to Canada and the U.S. and its return in the fall.