This is a wonderful little Victorian antique sewing item. It is from the late 19th Century (1850-1890). The Pincushion is turned, hand carved and pierced. The cobalt blue velvet pincushion is hand sewn onto the vegetable ivory base. The base, which is pierced all over, has a removable cap on the bottom, and is filled with what I assume to be oiled wool to keep the needles sharp.
Vegetable ivory is actually the coquille nut or tagua nut, which dries hard and gains a wonderful patina with age. Most of these sewing pieces came from Asia in the last half of the 1800s.
This pincushion and needle holder is in excellent condition, with just a very tiny age crack and a small chip on the lower base (both are shown in the photos). The acorn measures about 2 1/8 inches tall and 1 1/2 inches in diameter.