Monday, July 30, 2007

David-Anderson enamel thimble on eBay.

David-Andersen pink guilloché enamel sterling silver thimble. Moonstone top.
US $241.38; 16 bids, starting at US$30.99.
29 July 2007.

The pink enamel thimbles seem go a little higher than the others.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Snow Thimbles

Snow Thimble
Digitalis Purpurea

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Patent: No. 1260187: Tatting Thimble

Patent No. 1260187, E.M. Gourley, Ashton, NE,
19 March 1918.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

La Robe de Noce

La robe de noce (The Wedding Dress).
Louis Gallait, 1873.
Oil on canvas.
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique,
Brussels, Belgium.

I have been trying to find some work of Art History to explain this painting. She's sewing the wedding dress referenced in the work's title, but I think she's been interrupted, mid-stitch as it were. By whom? She's not looking so happy about it. The thimble is on the correct finger.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tonight's Stupid Pet Tricks. . .

The Galveston (TX) Daily News,
25 May 1895: issue 62, col. E.

I think maybe it's not water they're drinking from the thimbles.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


From the Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 12 April 1820.

CHARLES MILES was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of James Alexander , about seven o'clock in the night of the 10th of January, at St. Luke, with intent to steal, and burglariously stealing therein, one tea-caddy, value 10 s.; one looking-glass, value 20 s., and one thimble, value 2 s., his property.
MARY ALEXANDER. I am the wife of James Alexander; we live at No. 2, West-place, Bath-street, City-road, St. Luke's; he keeps the whole house. Last Monday evening these things were in the parlour, the glass hung in the room, the tea-caddy was on a table under the glass, and the thimble on the mantle-piece. Between six and seven o'clock in the evening, after dark, a knock came at the door, my sister-in-law went to the door, I heard a cry of thieves, went into the parlour in a minutes, and missed these things - the looking-glass was only taken from its place, and put on a chair by the window, which was up, and the blinds open. I had seen them in the parlour an an hour or two before. The tea-caddy was worth 10 s. The parlour-window was shut, and the shutters shut outside, but not fastened. I did not see the shutters shut, but about half-past five o'clock I saw the window close down - I do not think that it was fastened, it was then dark; the things were then safe, and the looking-glass hanging up. The officer produced my thimble.
THOMAS BRADFORD. I am a constable. I was on duty in John's-row, and as we came to the prosecutrix's window, about a quarter before seven o'clock, a woman cried out "There is somebody jumped out of the window." I went immediately to the window, a man stood there, whom I thought belonged to the woman; he pulled the prisoner out of the window, and said,
"You rascal, here is one of them;" he was in the parlour. The man then ran away. The prisoner ran to the paling, and five or six people secured him, while we pursued the man. On my return I searched him, and found this thimble at his feet, it dropped from him.
JOHN TWEEDY. I am a constable. I was with Bradford; his account his perfectly correct. I found the glass on the chair.
(Property produced and sworn to.)
Prisoner's Defence. I was walking along, kicked the thimble, picked it up, and put it into my pocket, it fell out of my pocket as it had a hole in it. I was not in the house.
GUILTY. Aged 15.
Sentenced to Death.
Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Holroyd.

Merciful Lord in Heaven!

See original (page 1, page 2).

Monday, July 23, 2007

Fingerhüter mit Bohrer

Fingerhüter mit Bohrer (Thimblemaker with drill).
Mendelbruder, 1390.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. . .(Dreaming of thimbles)

I am 98% asleep right now.
Friday night was the Harry Potter 7 release party at which we had, I dunno. . .1300 people?? Lotsa people. Too many people. All raving lunatic Harry Potter fans. I got home at about 4 a.m. the next (Saturday) morning. Could not sleep. Spent Saturday "day" staring at sales numbers. Now I wanna sleep.

Thimbles available from Birchcroft China.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Tartan Ware thimble case on eBay.

Tartan Ware thimble case. Very good condition; "Malcolm" on top of case. Includes sterling silver thimble with plain gold band. US$168.50; 13 bids, starting at US$12.88.
9 July 2007.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Blue Onion thimbles from Zwiebelmuster

These pretty little blue and white Bohemian thimbles are available from Zwiebelmuster for 3.1 € (about US$4.27) each, plus S/H. Their website also has a handy web page explaining the history and symbolism of the various Blue Onion motifs.
Happy Birthday, Máimí! Love you and miss you.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Thimbleflower, or Mexican Hat
Ratibida columnifera.

For more information, see The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Apparently this happens a lot.

The Charleston (SC) Mercury,
25 March 1856: issue 9562; col. C.


St. Louis (MO) Globe-Democrat,
1 November 1875: page 4, issue 166, col. D.


The Galveston (TX) Daily News,
9 March 1882: issue 301; col. I.


St. Louis (MO) Globe-Democrat,
1 September 1885: page 6, issue 101, col. E.

Now I know how to clean my thimbles.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Atlantic Cable Thimble

Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC),
20 October 1866: issue 16,900; col. F.

Sterling Silver Atlantic Cable Thimble, ca. 1870.
US$51.64; 9 bids, starting at US$15.00.
16 July 2007.

Another auction from one of my favorite eBay sellers, Elegant Arts Antiques. This thimble design is the same as that of the thimble used in the preceding article, so it has since been referred to as the "Atlantic Cable" design.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Thimbles + Washboard =

OK, maybe not my absolute favorite kind of music, but there are big (?) fans of this sort of thing.
There is a company called Columbus Washboard Company that can supply you with all your Washboard playing needs. They even have a page with links to mp3 tracks of washboard music. They also have a helpful list on how to use your washboard to actually wash your clothes.
[A note: the first item on the aforementioned list states: "It is okay to wash laundry in cold water." When you use Google Language Tools to translate this into French and then back into English it comes out as, "It is okay to wash laundry in cold toilets." Actually, that is not such a good idea. Except maybe in France?]

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Russian Enamel Thimbles

This was recently listed on eBay as a Russian silver and enamel thimble. The seller notes that it has "several russian (sic) silver hallmarks."
I don't think so. It is more likely Greek with Russian markings meant to fool thimble collectors. It just doesn't have the craftsmanship of pre- or post-Revolution Russian enamelled-silver thimbles. The enamelling is clunky and the metalwork is neither intricate nor well done.
I'm not blaming the seller. I'm sure the seller thinks--believes-- it's a Russian enamelled-silver thimble. What do non-thimble-people know about Russian enamelled-silver thimbles? What do non-thimble-people know about any thimbles? Maybe that they're used for sewing. They always get the finger wrong, plopping them willy-nilly on the index finger. They don't know.

These are Russian enamelled-silver thimbles:

Saturday, July 14, 2007


(click to enlarge)
Sewing (also called The Young Seamstress).
William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1898.

Friday, July 13, 2007

South Korean Thimble Stamp

South Korean postage stamp
Issued: 24 June 2004
Size: 35 mm. by 35 mm.
190 KRW (Korean Republic Won) = roughly 21 US cents
Part of a set of four: Thimble, Work basket, Bobbin, and Needle case.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Arctic Ice Shot thimbles?

So. I have this little box at the bottom of the page. It's there because the Amazon folks kept sending me emails that I hadn't yet activated my Associates account on my blog. This they must surmise because I have not yet made my first million from referrals to from this blog (The reason I applied for the account was so I could use their book and movies graphics when referencing book- and movie-related thimble stuff. I'd be astonished to have any referrals from this blog. It's a thimble blog.) Anyway, I put the little box in the footer so that maybe they'll note that I've officially "activated" my account.
The idea with the box is that they advertise products based on certain keywords they pick up from this blog. Mostly it's the word thimble, so they usually show one of a few different thimbles they sell. But sometimes it's some other thing, like this one Yoga DVD that pops up. Heaven only knows why.

I noticed yesterday that the little ad was for this Arctic Ice Shot mold (at left), and, as I did with the Yoga DVD, I thought, "What the. . . ?"
But then. . .
Aha!. . . they're like little ice thimbles!
But clearly the gigantic computer at does not "know" that the Arctic Ice Shots are shaped like thimbles. I checked out the listing. The word thimble is not to be found. I'm sure it's just a coincidence.
Hmm. . .

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Étui at auction at Bonhams

The Bath Summer Sale
Sale 15046
Bath, England
16 July 2007

Lot 137: A nineteenth century sewing étui; unmarked; the leather fitted case comprising a pair of scissors, a bodkin, pincushion, a later thimble with the motto "Forget Me Not," a tape measure, a thread waxer, and a bradle, the inside lid cover lifts off to reveal a hand written billet doux which reads, "How Can a Pledge So Small Impart the Warm Affections of a Loving Heart That Beats a Love for You?."
Estimate: £150-200.
Update: Sold for £220, plus fees, etc.

All-Star Scouting Report

Official report on existence of souvenir thimbles from Current-Name-of-the-Phone-Company Park, site of the 2007 Major League Baseball All-Star Game: they don't have any. They have spoons.
Also: Albert Pujols: Grow up.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sarcophagus? Casket? Morbid lot.

The Sunday Sale
Sale 5277
Christie's, South Kensington
29 July 2007

Lot 0086: A Regency red leather sarcophagus-shaped table casket; with gilt-tooled anthemion decoration, enclosing a fitted interior, on later feet; 3½ in. (9 cm.) high; 6 ¼ in. (16 cm.) wide; 4 in. (10.2 cm.) deep; together with a Victorian 'Lady's Companion' in the form of a leather bound volume, enclosing a fitted interior with thimble, tape-dispenser, scent bottle, mother-of-pearl button hole maker and other items, 4 inches (10.2 cm.) high overall.
Estimate: £300-500.

Monday, July 09, 2007

American Belleek thimble sold on eBay.

American Belleek thimble, c. late 19th-early 20th century, from collection of Estelle Zalkin.
US$799.99. 7 bids, starting at US$22.10.
1 July 2007.

Estelle Zalkin wrote one of my favorite thimble books, Zalkins Handbook of Thimbles and Sewing Implements, and wrote a column for the old newsletter, Thimbletter. This thimble was part of an auction of her some of her collection held at Christie's back in 1999. I couldn't have afforded it then, and I can't afford it now.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A Hint for a Thimble?

Daily Central City (CO) Register,
22 December 1869: Issue 127, col. C.

In case clipping shown above is too illegible, the little "poem" says:

I send a thimble for fingers nimble,
Which I hope will fit you when you try it;
It will last you long, if it's half as strong
As the hint that you gave me to buy it.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


From a book illustrating various craftsmen.
Stadtbibliothek, Nuremberg.

Friday, July 06, 2007

At auction at Christie's South Kensington

Sale 5261
Christie's, London, South Kensington
10 July 2007

Lot 0669: A silver-gilt and enamel thimble; Norwegian, twentieth century; the sides with enamelled Viking longboat in a mountainous seascape, with moonstone top; 1 inch (2.5 cm.) high; and a further parcel-gilt Scandinavian thimble, the rim enamelled with white dot decoration below a green crown effect, with mother-of-pearl top; 7/8 inches (2.2 cm.) high.
Estimate: £200-250.

Update: Sold for £240, plus fees, etc..

Lot 1800: A wooden sewing box, circa 1840; rectangular with inlaid tulip motif to the lid and metal feet, opening to reveal a set of gilt metal sewing tools including needlecase, scent bottle, stiletto, scissors, four mother of pearl thread winders, thimble and bodkin all in fitted tray of purple velvet, lifting to reveal a storage compartment lined in ivory moiré.
Estimate: £500-700.

Update: Sold for £240 (hmm...), plus fees, etc..

Lot 0668: A collection of various thimbles; Various nationalities; including many Scandinavian enamelled examples; a 14ct. gold example; and several Mexican examples, some with applied wirework decoration (a lot).
Estimate: £300-400.

Update: Sold for £660, plus fees, etc..

Lot 0705: A musical wooden sewing box; French, circa 1850; In the form of a piano, opening to reveal a part sewing set comprising: a pair of pair of mother-of-pearl handled scissors, a needlecase, a stiletto, a mother-of-pearl thimble and a glass scent bottle, the tray lifting to reveal various sewing oddments including three ivory needlecases, with single piece comb playing two air movement.
Estimate: £300-400.

Update: Unsold.

Sorry I'm so tardy in posting this!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Piercy's Patent thimble sold on eBay.

Piercy's Patent Tortoise shell on silver thimble with gold medallion. Small piece of gold medallion missing; no holes.
GBP 363.78 (approx. US$731.54--ouch!). 14 bids starting at GBP 25.01 (US$50.29).
23 June 2007.

This is another one of those thimbles that is, though highly desired among thimble collectors generally, not one I personally have a big yearning for. Maybe it's more impressive seen in person, but as shown here and in other photos I've seen, it isn't really my cup of tea.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Inspector sews up case.

Brooklyn Eagle, 3 October 1898.

I don't think I'd want a thimble with NAG inscribed on it. But that's just me.
The woman involved is a Dr. Nancy A. Guilford. She had apparently landed in Liverpool the previous week, aboard the steamer Vancouver, under the name Mrs. McAllister, of Chicago. She was wanted in the United States on charges of second degree murder in connection with the murder of an Emma Gill in Bridgeport, Connecticut, an affair known then as the Yellow Mill Pond Tragedy.
There had been considerable difficulty in correctly identifying Miss Gill's body. Several people came forth and "positively identified" her body as that of Nellie Lauckery, Marion Perkins, and Louisa King.
Eventually, it was detemined that the body belonged to Miss Gill, a 24-year-old domestic employed in Southington, Connecticut, who'd come to Dr. Guilford for "a criminal operation" (presumably an abortion--this was 1898) from which she died. Her body was then dismembered in Dr. Guilford's bathtub, with the severed parts disposed of in Yellow Mill Pond. Albert "Harry" Oxley was charged as an accomplice "to the extent of being responsible for the condition of the girl and consenting to a criminal operation." I cannot determine the fate of Mr. Oxley, but Dr. Guilford plead guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to ten years in prison and fined one dollar.
I don't know how many 2007 dollars equal one 1898 dollar, but it somehow doesn't seem to be enough.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Itty Bitty Apple

This cute little pewter thimble is from out of Manhattan, Kansas. It is $7.99, plus S/H. They have other thimbles, ranging in price from $3.99 to $7.99. I like this one best.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I don't want to know. . .

OK. I do want to know. And I'll find out what the heck this thing is. But it's kinda scary. Sort of like that eye thing. Definitely thimble-ish, but scary.

Update: 7/3/2007:
OK, I really don't want to know. . .
Apparently it's called a Millard Thimble Retractor and has something to do with plastic surgery. There's even one with two hooks.
Merciful Heaven! I don't deal well with medical stuff. Ever since my 7th grade Math teacher went on and on about how we'd all sever our Achilles tendons by wearing sandals to school, I get really queasy. Eeeeewwwwww.