Dating old thimbles
Materials Needle pushers have helped sew everything from animal skins to silk.Porcelain, wood, glass, ivory, bone, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, leather, tropical nuts, plastic, celluloid, and Bakelite are some materials used for thimbles.Horner came on the scene when an estimated over 60 million thimbles were being produced worldwide. An ‘Improved Dorcas’ was followed by Dorcas Junior and Little Dorcas. Steel-lined imitators soon dropped into sewing baskets.His thimbles had a center core of steel covered with thick outer layers of silver or gold. The most noted, Dura, Dreema, and Doris, were made in limited quantity and are difficult to find. Although most of these were plain silver thimbles, Froebel’s photographic example makes note of the few exemptions.Since thimble making was their main business, not a sideline, Zalkin refers to it as “The Thimble House.” Its thimbles, made until 1932, are noted for their superiority in workmanship and designs. of Philadelphia, Pa., a company that began making thimbles in 1839 and which continues doing so today.Webster Bros., who made thimbles and other sewing tools in Massachusetts, 1869-1950, sold their thimble dies and designs to Simons Bros. A fouled anchor (an anchor with a tangled rope) is the mark of early thimbles made by Stern Bros. Around 1900, they added an “S” with “B” in the top part, and “C” in the lower.Fortunately, there are now collectors preserving sewing implements. A thimble engraved with her grandmother’s name was her first purchase in 1976. By 1984 she’d acquired an entire collection for ,000. Bas is created either by carving away material (wood, stone, ivory, silver, gold, jade, etc.) or adding material to the top of an otherwise smooth surface.“I sold the duplicates and found that I loved selling as much as collecting.” During earlier times, thimbles were a necessity because garments and linens were all hand-made. Origin Although thimbles were made world-wide, Nuremburg, Germany, was especially known for theirs.
American thimbles are known for scenic decorations, especially of farms and waterfronts. The French favored highly elaborate gold thimbles embellished with enamel or semi-precious stones, while the Norwegians were often enameled over guilloche.Those not imported were made by local silversmiths and were unmarked.