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July 15, 2015

Are you familiar with the fascinating history of Thimbles?

These nifty little sewing accessories date back to over 30,000 years
ago when mammoth hunters fashioned stone finger covers to
help them stitch leather.
These sewing implements were found in several excavations outside
Moscow.  The bone thimble and stone press date to 10000 BC and
the iron needle and shuttle date to 2500 BC.

Some of the earliest thimbles were undoubtedly
carved in wood but no examples of these survive.
By 100 AD, the Romans had spread the use
of bronze thimbles throughout Europe.

By 1500 AD, Paracelsus discovers zinc metal and thimbles take
the traditional shape we know today.  These beauties were
discovered in Nurnberg.

In 1628, thimble guilds were established in Holland.
Thimbles were still crafted by hand.

In 1705, J. Lofting, a Dutchman, opened the first manufacturing
plant in London that produced machine-made thimbles.



By the late 1700's, everything became more
ornate, including the humble thimble.
 Rosewood case and sterling silver thimble

Lily of the Valley sterling pattern

Gold and crystal-cut antique thimble 

Ivory and gold thimble, ca 1820 

Sterling silver thimble on a scroll tape measure

Literally, everything was grander by the 19th century - sterling
silver thimbles came in their own velvet cases:

Unless they came in a sterling silver case:

The ultimate in thimble chic - solid gold
accented with 8 cut diamonds.  Swanky.

Thimble collecting is an active hobby today and collectors are
always on the search for the unusual and the unique.  Wonder
if they ever considered going on an excavation?!


  1. Great, informative post on a fascinating little object!

  2. Some stunning examples of beautiful thimbles.

  3. Wow, beautiful thimbles.
    I love acorns and would love those.

    cheers, parsnip