Friday, August 31, 2007

Thimble finally set free.

I happened upon this article about a 17th century thimble, among other things, found in an old safe in Lower Brailes, Warwickshire, England. The webpage has this (left) photograph of Fr. Brian Doolan holding some other silver stuff found in the safe, but not the thimble.
With all due respect to the good father, I wanna see the thimble.
If they'd found a spoon I bet they'd darned well show that.
Hmm. . .

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


(A poem using the common names of the plant)

Let her slide on her witches gloves,
Let her shake and peel
her dead man's bells,
But little folk, stay and mark
the tale this pixy tells.

Save your zeal and never wear
the faeries gloves of our Lady,
for she is trying to trap you
by her deeds, so many shady.

She may temp from above,
The wistful traveller,
with her bloody fingers
masked by the virgins glove.

But no more shall she trap
Our friends the sprite so nimble
By the wearing of the a fairy cap
Nor to wear the fairy thimble

Don’t be tempted by the folk’s glove
Let it nestle by the way,
Pay homage to the Lady,
pass on by, and let her stay.

--Philip Edmondson

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Beautiful porcelain thimbles sold on eBay.

Four modern Limoges hand-painted thimbles: marked "LIMOGES FRANCE peint main."
US$107.50; 23 bids, starting at US$0.99.
31 July 2007.

I think these were produced by Carenton Porcelaine. I believe the folks at Carenton do the handpainting on thimble blanks (undecorated, unglazed porcelain thimbles) made in Limoges, France. I don't think they do the fussing with the clay and all that. There are some lovely thimbles from Carenton Porcelaine similar to these ones available though The Thimble Guild. They're not all together on one page, so they're tricky to find. The easiest way seems to be clicking on the "From Around the World" link and then scrolling through the six pages in that category. They're not cheap.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"Thimble Farm" for sale.

OK, OK. . . so I thought it was a farm where they grow thimbles. I bet a lot of people did. . .
Instead it's just this house somewhere in England.
£1,650,000 (abt. US$3,308,415.00).
That's a lot of thimbles.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Patent Silver Thimbles (for fale from filver fmith).

Connecticut Gazette, 18 July 1804,
Volume XLI, Issue 2123, Page 1.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Things go better with Coke®.

1930s Coca-Cola® Aluminum Whistle Thimble.
US$75.00; 6 bids, starting at US$10.00.
16 August 2007.

Another example of U.S. Patent No. 2092942. The first example sold for US$42.00. Usually collectibles with appeal to more than one kind of collector--say Coca-Cola® collectors and thimble collectors--will go a little higher than usual because of the increased competition among bidders.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Thimble Tribute to the King.

Elvis Presley's Hot Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich*
2 Tblsp. peanut butter (preferably smooth)
2 slices white sandwich bread, lightly toasted.
1 small ripe banana, mashed with a fork (about ¼ cup)
2 Tblsp. butter, melted
  • Spread peanut butter evenly on 1 slice of toast, then spread mashed banana on other slice, leaving a ¼-inch border around edge.
  • Close sandwich, gently pressing bread slices together.
  • Fry sandwich in melted butter, turning over once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes total.
  • Eat while still warm.
This sounds pretty awful to me, but the comments from people who've tried it on the various recipe websites that feature this recipe all highly recommend it.
*Recipe adapted from Are You Hungry Tonight?: Elvis' Favorite Recipes,by Brenda Butler.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Lovely, colorful enamelled thimble sold on eBay.

Sterling silver enamel landscape thimble. Germany, size 7.
US$86.00; 26 bids (whew!), starting at US$9.99.
10 August 2007.

I like this thimble a lot. I have a few silver enamelled thimbles; mostly with flowers on a pastel background or variations on a blue windmill scene. This one so colorful!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Catching up.

A few follow-ups to previous posts. . .
I have gone on at some length about the influx of fakes and reproductions of the "Cherubs and Garlands" thimble into the various venues for selling thimbles. Within the last couple of weeks two auctions of what look to me from the photographs to genuine "Cherubs and Garlands" thimbles have been up for auction on eBay. Both thimbles have no holes, are in-round, and have (as shown in photos) authentic Simons Bros. marks. The auctions brought the following results:
9 August 2007: Size 9: US $34.68; 3 bids, starting at US$25.82.
10 August 2007: Size 11: US$44.95; 13 bids, starting at US$1.08.
A third auction of what was purported to be a "Cherubs and Garlands" thimble with a seller-set starting bid of $35.00 went un-bid upon. This third thimble looked a little sketchy to me. But why are the prices of genuine ones so low? Bidder skepticism as to their authenticity or is there a glut on the "Cherubs and Garlands" thimble market? Hmm. . .

On the other hand, a sterling Simons Bros. "Stitch in Time" thimble had a respectable showing at US $229.30 (8 bids starting at US$33.33). Maybe a little lower than I've seen, but still pretty good for about one-fifth of an ounce of .925 silver.

But back to dubious thimbles and purveyors thereof:
I also posted about some thimbles that were supposed to be either (1) Fabergé from the Bulgarian royal court, or (2) 19th c. generic European (no marks), but I thought most likely neither. Now I find this ghastly cat thimble much in the same style, with what look at a distance like British silver marks. Who knows where they're really coming from?
A kind correspondant informs me that a series like this was sold as "modern" by the Thimble Society of London in the early 1990s. Thank you.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Carrie Adell

These sterling silver "fingernail" thimbles were made by the late jewelry-artist, Carrie Adell (14 Nov 1931-15 July 2001). These particular ones are not my favorites of her thimbles, but it was the only photo I could find, so here it is, tarnish and everything. On my favorite of her thimbles, the fingernail part has a design that looks sort of like sand thats had water wash little ridges through it. Ms. Adell became renowned for her beautiful multi-precious-metal jewelry and small handmade beads she called "Touchstones." She had (at least) two registered U.S. Patents (that I could find) : 5515584 and 6108878, both for wire connection systems used in jewelry. Her hallmark is shown below at right. Her thimbles that I've seen are usually hand-signed, either C. Adell or Carrie Adell.
More information about her life and work can be found at the Patina Gallery (Santa Fe, NM) website and at her daughter, Jo Adell's website, Jo is also an accomplished jewelry-artist.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Found the thimble.

The Denver Evening Post
30 April 1897, col. E.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Death sets a Thing significant.

Death sets a Thing significant
The Eye had hurried by
Except a perished Creature
Entreat us tenderly

To ponder little Workmanships
In Crayon, or in Wool,
With "This was last Her fingers did" --
Industrious until --

The Thimble weighed too heavy --
The stitches stopped -- by themselves --
And then 'twas put among the Dust
Upon the Closet shelves --

A Book I have -- a friend gave --
Whose Pencil -- here and there --
Had notched the place that pleased Him --
At Rest -- His fingers are --

Now -- when I read -- I read not --
For interrupting Tears --
Obliterate the Etchings
Too Costly for Repairs.

--Emily Dickinson

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Beautiful gold-with-turquoise thimbles sold on eBay.

19th century gold and turquoise thimble.
US$495.00; 7 bids, starting at US$50.00.
11 June 2007.

19th century gold thimble with pearls and turquoise cabochons and dimpled carnelian top.
GBP245.88 (approx. US$500.81); 18 bids, starting at GBP 0.99.
31 July 2007.
19th century gold thimble with many turquoise cabochons.
Reserve not met: Highest Bid*: US $536.00; 2 bids.
17 June 2007.

Of course, on eBay, it's really the second highest bid plus whatever roundish increment they add on, up to the highest bidder's bid.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Why She Wore a Thimble.

(Click to enlarge)
Jeanne Murray Walker.
The Midwest Quarterly 38.4 (Summer 1997): p. 392 (1).

Sunday, August 05, 2007


In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it shall be as if all of the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night.
--Antoine de St. Exupéry
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can come to any good.


The most I ever did for you, was to outlive you,
But that is much
-- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Saturday, August 04, 2007

It's so like me to keep up with the latest fads.

The Milwaukee Sentinel, 12 January 1898; pg. 4; col. G.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Not that kind of Tattoo.

This little thimble is a souvenir of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo (£2.99, plus S/H).

So what is the Edinburgh Military Tattoo? It's a performance by various military regiments from all over the world, held at Edinburgh Castle. Marching and drumming and bagpiping and so forth. It has sold out for the last several years. It is a magnificent spectacle to behold.

I am not a big fan of American-style parades or football half-time shows. I particularly don't care for marching bands. One bunch of high school/college trombonists swaying back and forth to any of the twelve different songs they ever play looks pretty much like any other bunch of marching trombonists. I realize they have to practice a lot and march in unison and spell out "Go Wildcats" with rogue baton twirlers and all that, but, please. . . enough already.

Anyway, the 2007 Edinburgh Military Tattoo starts today and ends the 25th of August. It is incredibly wonderful.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Christoph Weigel, ca. 1700.