A SMALL COLLECTION OF BRITISH THIMBLES
What a wonderful word! It's mere sound can produce a smile.
Tom Thumb once wore a thimble as a hat :
'A taylor's needle was his sword.
His headpiece was a thimble.
And when he fought, upon my word,
He made the Giants tremble.'
But oddly few nursery rhymes featured this fanciful word.
Thimbles of some sort have been used since man (or woman) began pushing needles through hides.
The Metropolitan Museum is said to have a stone example from about 2000 BC.
A 2000 year old Han Dynasty ring-form thimble has been found in China.
There is controversy over whether or not the Greeks and Romans used them - although examples exist.
Thimbles have been found in England dating back to the 10th century -
their use being widespread by the 14th century, with manufacturing centers in Nuremberg and Holland.
Most early thimbles were made of brass, 'precious metal' thimbles being somewhat rare,
and silver often considered a bit too soft.
However, Elizabeth I is said to have given a thimble set with precious stones as a gift to a lady-in-waiting.
And thimbles have, ever since, been regarded as the "ideal gift for a lady".
In the 19th century, thimbles also were used as a measure for spirits and gunpowder :
thus the term "Just a Thimbleful" (these 'tot' thimbles becoming the "ideal gift for a gentleman").
We are delighted to present a small selection of English thimbles of silver and enamel,
dating from the time of Elizabeth I (c1590-1600), to a 19th century leather-cased tot thimble.
They all make my day just a little brighter.
I hope they do the same for you.
Detailed Images and Information:
Rare Elizabeth I Silver Thimble
England, c1590-1600, Unmarked
The tapering body engraved with chevrons between two horizontal bands on a ground with irregular indentations,
the top with two concentric circles;
accompanied by notes from the previous owner
Condition : Wear appropriate to age and usage,
with small dents and nicks
We welcome and encourage all inquiries. We will make every attempt to answer any questions you might have..
For information, call (901) 761-1163 or (901) 827-4668, or
American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Discover accepted
M. Ford Creech Antiques & Fine Arts / 581 South Perkins Road / Memphis, TN 38117 / USA / Wed.-Sat. 11-6, or by appointment