I’m not entirely sure how this happened, and the pieces are being listed by Ebay seller “thecupboardshelf” (http://tinyurl.com/ldwdrsx). Seller states, “We will be listing a large quantity of lace , lace bobbins and textile fabric sample books from this museum deaccession many lace items from the archive collection of Gertrude Whiting.” Whiting is famous for her book “Old-Time Tools and Toys of Needlework”, and she also founded the Needle and Bobbin Club.
Most of the listings have a very limited bid time and are disappearing very fast. I do not know what museum is being referred to, although I have suspicions, and have written to the seller asking for more information.
Update – The pieces appear to be from a deaccession by the Fashion Institute of Technology, in New York. Seller says the last of the Whiting items will be listed on Saturday and Sunday.
I recommend that you look at the “Beautiful Bobbins” chapter of Whiting’s book to see if you can match the bobbins up for auction with the photos. Another source is Whiting’s rarer book “A Lace Guide for Makers and Collectors”, a resource that I really should use more in the Ebay Alerts. There are bobbins illustrated in the large pullout sheet in this book.
The rigid heddle with Alençon lace threaded through the sticks (http://tinyurl.com/nwno5xr) is illustrated in the book and is also up for auction and just sold. This is the piece that is the origin of all the misinformation leading to these items being labeled as ‘lace measures’. It will now rest happily in my own collection.