rolling pins (glass)

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Decorative glass rolling pins, hung in cottages in the late 18th and 19th centuries, are generally love tokens from sailors to their wives and sweethearts, or vice versa, as their designs and inscriptions often show. They were also linked to luck; if one was broken, it was a sign that the ship carrying the giver had been wrecked, or that some great misfortune was about to strike the family. The pins are hollow, the knob at one end being a stoppered opening; it is said they could hold gifts of tea or rum, but when used as household charms were generally filled with salt, or sometimes with coloured beads, seeds, or threads. They, and the similarly decorative glass rods and ‘walking sticks’, were sometimes called charm wands.

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