Thimble Identification



Introduction

This site aims to allow a single thimble to be identified with regard to its country of origin, approximate date of manufacture and maker. Of course this will not be possible for all thimbles, especially those without markings, but it is hoped that many thimbles will able to be identified. It is recognized that this is not an easy aim and there will undoubtedly be errors made in the process which is based, firstly, upon the material from which the thimble is made.

One of our mentors used to say that '' that condition is measles because the last time that you saw a patient looking like that it, it was measles too''. This concept applies to thimble identification so that there is no substitute for experience, only a guide. This site attempts to be such a guide.

'Every rule is there to be broken' and so there are bound to be exceptions to every piece of information on this site!

Unless a thimble has a specific date mark it is possible only to arrive at an approximate time of manufacture and for very old thimbles this is best expressed in terms of the century or centuries in which the thimble was made, all other thimble should simply be dated as 'early', 'mid' or 'late' what ever century they were made in.

Auction and manufacturer's catalogues are good sources of identification data, as may be the many books that have been published about thimbles already. An iBook, 'The Anatomy of the Thimble', is a good source for learning about the identifying features of a thimble and may be downloaded from the iBooks Store if you have an Apple computer but it is also available as a .pdf file here.

Only the commoner marks will be included in this first version of the identifier and thus it is probable that many marks or identifications will not be included. This is a work in progress and there are bound to be mistakes, please contact whisbister@gmail.com with corrections or suggestions.

It should be noted that many marks, in practice, especially on older thimbles, may be rubbed, they may be poorly stamped so that the mark is either unclear or parts are even missing, and they are usually very small so that the actual marks may not be as clear as those illustrated.

We would like to thank Wolf-Dieter Scholz for his help in identifying some of the thimbles illustrated, supplying some of the images and helping to correct the mistakes in the text. To 'W-D' we are extremely grateful.

Start

What is the thimble made of:

Metal

Silver

Gold

Copper alloy (bronze, brass, latten etc)

Pewter

Iron/Steel

Aluminium

Other

Porcelain/China/Glass

Porcelain

Glass

Mineral (stone)

Jade

Onyx

Alabaster

Meerschaum

Animal

Tortoiseshell

Ivory

Bone

Horn

Mother of Pearl

Leather

Vegetable

Vegetable ivory

Wood

Bog Oak

Misc.

Papier-mâché

Bakalite

Plastic

Resin

Rubber

Gutta Percha

Celluloid

Reliable sites for learning more about thimbles

The collected papers:

'More about Thimbles'

may be downloaded, free, as i-Books, in two volumes, from the i-Tunes store:

Volume 1

Excellent selling sites for buying thimbles

Elegant Arts

Thimblesmith

Thimbleselect

SewManyBIts

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/more-about-thimbles-volume-1/id792454353?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Volume 2

https://sites.google.com/site/thimbleidentificatio/homehttps://itunes.apple.com/us/book/more-about-thimbles-volume-2/id789394891?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Additional i-Books relating to thimbles may also be downloaded free from the i-Tunes store:

The Anatomy of the Thimble

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-anatomy-of-the-thimble/id763667025?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

European Porcelain Thimbles

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/european-porcelain-thimbles/id897515727?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Other excellent sewing related sites:

http://www.coulthart.com/avery/index.html

Updated: 17 September 2018