I have an old package of needles that I picked up at a yard sale. The package is no bigger than my thumb.1 So I thought it would be interesting to scan it and present it here, magnified for posterity.
The name "PRINZESS VICTORIA" appears above the line drawing of the woman wearing a crown. I suppose two options for who that might be are Victoria, Princess Royal (1840-1901), who was the eldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and Princess Victoria of the United Kingdom (1868–1935), who was the fourth child of Edward VII.
Or perhaps it's a botched attempt at referencing Queen Victoria. While this package clearly states that it was "Made in Germany," it's possible that similar packages — minus the "Made in Germany" — were created in an attempt to misrepresent the country of origin and gain access to various lucrative European markets.
The following passage is from the November 18, 1899, issue of The Economist, and lends credence to this theory:
"A deputation of cravat manufacturers was received this week by the Minister of Commerce of make representations on the use of false trade-marks on importations of the articles they sell from Germany, Austria, Belgium and Italy. These goods, the deputation declared, are marked with the words 'Made in London' or other words imply that they are of English origin, which appears to be a recommendation with buyers ... It is, however, a common practice to import German goods marked as English, and recently the attention of the British Chamber of Commerce was called to the sale, in France, of packets of needles bearing a portrait of the Queen, with the words 'Prinzess Victoria Needles' and the name of a fictitious manufacturer at Redditch. The spelling of the word princess betrayed the origin of the article, but would escape the attention of the buyer."So there you have. Cravats, chicanery and Prinzess Victoria.
There are, by the way, three needles left in the Prinzess Victoria package. Maybe I can use them with my colorful embroidery thread.
1. I'm serious. It's the size of my hideously scarred left thumb.