Collecting Thimbles with the Thimble Guild
Collecting thimbles may seem like just a hobby for some, but for others, it is a way of life. When you first look at a thimble, it may appear to have little potential of being anything other than an article created to make sewing a more functional and an easy activity. In fact, most people see a thimble as a finger protector.
Thimbles are diminutive in size, so they leave limited space for enhancement, and their operational side is almost always spotted with holes. Despite their small size and rather strict limitations, thimbles have been a favourite for collecting as a hobby and are quite collectible. People collect thimbles for a variety of reasons, but the initial craving begins with those who have been sewing for years and have attained thimbles as part of their sewing ensembles. As the capacity of work expands, so does the level of the collection. Furthermore, most collectors are surprised to find that they have antique or vintage thimbles on hand without even trying – and can be quite valuable.
During the 1800’s, thimbles were actually measured as fashionable, and carried as an accessory making a stylish statement. Some small thimbles were showcased on the pinkie finger. Women and men of the upper class regarded the thimble as a fine fashion accessory, and these thimbles were created as a decoration piece. Other times, thimbles were used as advertising accessories for politicians.
Collector thimbles vary from each other and can be made from mother of pearl, silver, brass, and some are even made from gold. Additionally, porcelain, wooden, and carved stone also make up a few collector thimbles as well. Some thimbles highlight intricate details around their sides, and others have stood-in as holders for tiny perfume bottles and self-styled sewing toys.
Some thimbles can surprisingly be quite ornate in their construction and appear to make a great canvas for many artists. Some artists have hand painted thimbles and display some beautiful pieces of art. In today’s technological era, even photographs can be displayed on a thimble!
From the 19th century, the Fabergé thimbles are probably one of the most well-known. Some of these particular thimbles had polished stones or other types of semi-precious gems set in their tops. Other thimbles were fancily decorated on the sides with beautiful patterns or designs.
Not only did collectors look for thimbles, thimble racks and cabinets also became a collector items. In the late 19th century, thimbles were sold by various companies and frequently came with a holder to display the personalised thimbles. From England, dorcas thimbles sold attractive display cases at about the same time, which also are a collector item. Thimbles racks and cabinets are sold separately as well for a collector to find a way to showcase their collection. Display cases vary and there are a variety of styles available to suit any style.
In America, thimbles were sold in identical, oval aluminium cases, or cast-iron holders shaped like animals. Thimbles from Germany were held in holders formed of carved Black Forest hardwood in the shapes of birds or bears. There were even thimble containers made from wood into various shapes such as shoes, as well as equally tiny, hand-painted mother of pearl ships, complete with ropes and a loop to hold the thimble.
To access the value of any antique thimble, research and patience is necessary. The condition of the antique thimble is the most significant key in determining the value of your collector’s item. Additionally, other contributing factors in determining the value include the material that it is made out of such as silver, porcelain, or wood. Knowing the history of the thimble can be extremely beneficial as well. Most antique thimbles reveal the history of the times when they were created. Usually there are dates and places that the manufacturer recorded giving some insight into the history of the antique thimble. Collector thimbles can be found all over the world in some shape or fashion and give valuable clues as to how people worked and lived during that time.
Regardless if the thimble is for protecting your finger while working or to add to a growing collection, thimbles have a fascinating history. When arranged together, collector thimbles make for a delightful display.
For more information on all things thimbles and access to a great selection of thimbles to add to your collection, visit the Thimble Guild website or call us now on 0844 573 5310.