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Home     Collection of 45 thimbles, various types
Collection of 45 thimbles, various types

Collection of 45 thimbles, various types



Collection of 45 thimbles, various types

Period: 14th - 18th century

Collection of 45 North-European brass thimbles ranging from the 14th to the 18th century.

Most thimbles are in perfect undamaged condition.
A wonderful acquisition for any museum or collector, spanning several centuries of thimble manufacture.

Article code: 11-C2901

Available: 1


Price: € 450.00

  • Specifications
  • Additional info
  • Related coins & artefacts
Period
  • Middle Ages
  • Post-Medieval
Category
  • Artefacts
Material
  • Brass
Status
  • Webshop
1st row: open topped thimbles and thumbrings, from left to right: 14-14-15-17-17-17-17-15th century
2nd row: 14-13-14-14-15-15-16-15-16th century
3rd row: 17-16-16-16-16-16-16-16-17-16-16th century (Nuremberg manufacture)
4th row: 17-17-17-18-17-17-17th century
5th row: 18-17-17-17-17-17-17th century

Thimbles are mostly cone-shaped cups and were used to protect the finger when pushing a needle through leather or fabric. Some types are open-topped; these were designed to apply the pressure sideways.

The earlier Medieval thimbles were usually cast with hand-punched indentations in a spiral pattern. In Nuremberg  the process of thimble manufacture was improved by making them from stamped brass disks or strips that were bent conically. This new procedure produced cheaper, better and more comfortable thimbles. The thimble makers even had their own guild with apprentices, journeyman and finally master craftsman. To keep the secret of the production they were prohibited from leaving the town.

By the 17th century, brass thimble manufacture moved to Holland and they became the primary supplier in Western Europe. When the Dutchman John Lofting opened a factory in Islington in 1693, Britain began to mass produce brass thimbles and exported them to the New World.

During the 18th century, Birmingham took over the brass thimble industry by first copying Lofting’s thimbles and later improving the quality of the metal and the manufacturing process.

Collection