Dating old thimbles

Silver thimbles - Thimble identification

dating old thimbles

Early Thimbles and a look at how to date them. At the time of writing . This 66 page booklet is very detailed with nice pictures of old thimbles. herminehesse: Antique silver thimbles Vintage Sewing Machines, Vintage Outstanding Antique Engraved 14 Kt Gold Thimble * American * Dated Georgian silver thimble. Georgian decorated silver thimble. Georgian silver thimble. Silver thimble - Birmingham hall mark - not checked books for date letter yet.

Items of lower silver content are marked Z Many thimbles found in Holland will have been imported and thus have a Dutch import mark. Tax paid marks were abolished in Some inexpensive modern Dutch thimbles are marked on their tops. Dating codes do not seem to be used on Dutch thimbles. Some modern maker's marks are known.

Dagger mark pre with rubbed maker's mark.

Antique Thimbles, American style - Antique Trader

Pre tax paid mark for imported silver Post import marks for Duty mark for small imported items Italy In a law was introduced requiring silver to be marked with the fineness, a lozenge mark containing the registered makers number and a province code.

After the lozenge contained a star too. Makers are thus identified by numbers but there seems to be no complete numerical list available to collectors.

Some makers wrote their names on the tops or stamped the marks on the top. Twentieth century makers marks have been listed. Unknown maker in Firenze. Between and a Fascist symbol was included in the mark. Russia The finding of a face facing either left or righta workers head, or a hammer and sickle mark usually signify a thimble from Russia.

Antique and Vintage Thimbles

Some imported thimbles e. During the Commonwealth period, in particular, many such inscriptions are of a religious or moralistic nature. Indentations on English thimbles continued to be manually produced until the late seventeenth century, and the resulting lack of uniformity provides a useful indicator for their dating.

Towards the end of the century, thimbles became shorter and more tapered, and the indentations took on a more modern appearance.

Antique and Vintage Thimbles | Collectors Weekly

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Netherlands progressively eroded the pre-eminence of Nurembergand the majority of later imported brass thimbles were produced in Holland. Two 17th century brass thimbles. The left-hand one is of two-part construction, and dates circa mid 17th century. It is an imported Dutch type, and one of the earliest to have mechanically produced indentations. The right-hand one is cast and dates circa mid to late 17th century.

It is either an imported Dutch thimble or an early product of John Lofting. Two such thimbles dating circa seventeenth century are illustrated in Fig.

The first is of two-piece construction, its body and top clearly having been produced separately. The second is of similar appearance, but has been cast in one piece. Both thimbles have been finish turned on a lathe - evidenced by internal machining marks - and have regular indentations, produced by knurling.

dating old thimbles

The second one may be either a Dutch import or an early product of John Lofting, whose role is described below. By the late seventeenth century, England had a well-established brass-working industry of its own, and the opportunity this presented was not lost on John Lofting, a Dutch thimble manufacturer.

In he set up a thimble factory at Islington, Londonand began production on a larger scale than had hitherto been known in England. He subsequently moved to premises in Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire, where the use of water power, rather than horse power, enabled him to double his output of thimbles. With a capacity of about two million thimbles per year, Lofting clearly had ambitions beyond the home market, and probably exported to the American colonies. John Lofting died inbut his Great Marlow mill is believed to have continued producing thimbles for several years, possibly until it succumbed to competition from manufacturers in Birmingham.

dating old thimbles

UKDFD Large quantities of thimbles of the type illustrated in Fig 11 are found in both England and the Netherlandsand it is believed that these probably represent the final development of the type introduced by John Lofting. They are cast in one piece, their indentations are knurled, and they have a characteristic waffle-shaped crown pattern.

There is little variation in their design, other than size.

dating old thimbles

They are believed to have been produced throughout most of the eighteenth century. These are similar in all respects, except size, to the normal thimbles of the period. By the beginning of the eighteenth century, manufacturers in Birmingham were producing a vast number of small brass articles, and it was not long before some began to copy the Lofting thimbles.

Although there is no documentary evidence of thimble making in the town before the second half of the century, it is likely that Lofting was feeling the pressure of competition before he died. The Birmingham manufacturers did not necessarily specialise in thimble production, but would often have a number of lines, typically including other small items such as buckles and buttons.

Things changed with empress Maria Theresa of Austria. The spies returned with the plans but her copper smiths were unable to reproduce the process successfully.

Collecting Thimbles, Old and New

Each master received his own house and garden. Only after his time was brass produced in Europe. The next break-through in thimble making technology was the development of a device that permitted them to be made by machine. The son of a master tailor in the town of Schorndorf near Stuttgart gave his father a silver thimble for a birthday gift.

dating old thimbles

Having learned the silver smith profession, he recognized the most difficult part of the work in producing the thimble.