Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nameless Breakfast Food?

Advertisement for Liberty Pure Food Co.
Good Housekeeping Magazine
December 1901

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Employments of Women

From: Penny, Virginia, The Employments of Women: A Cyclopaedia of Woman's Work, (Boston : Walker, Wise and Co. 1863) p. 236:

238. Thimbles. P. was kind enough to make an entire silver thimble, that I might see the process. The whole of the work could bo done by women, but no women in any country are employed at it, so far as he knows. I was told by one or two other thimble makers, that no women are ever employed in that branch of business. It is usual for a boy to serve an apprenticeship of four years. While doing some parts of the labor the workers sit, and while doing other parts they stand. The polishing is done on a lathe, and there is not enough of it to furnish work for a separate person, except in very large establishments, and even then it is so connected with the other processes that it could not be well divided. There are not so many thimbles sold now as formerly, because of the sewing machines that are used. There are not more than from eight to twelve thimble makers in the United States. There are none South or West of Philadelphia.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thimble Tart

No. "Thimble Tart" is not my new nom de blog.
I found this recipe for Thimble Tarts on a newly-found, scrumptious blog called Cherry on a Cake. The photo on the site is even more mouth-watering. Yummy.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Thimble for Mother Lindbergh

In an appendix to the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Spirit of St. Louis, by Charles A. Lindbergh, it mentions that one of the gifts bestowed upon Lindbergh after his famous flight was a "Gold thimble, set with diamonds, for Col. Lindbergh's mother, from the children of Patchogue (New York)."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Place for Chrome®

At last. has its own souvenir thimble. Pewter. $5.99, plus S/H.

What is Well, the website references itself as both "The World's Largest Truckstop," and "The Place for Chrome®." Also: "the premiere provider of trucking accessories for professional drivers." Sounds good to me. It has all kinds of stuff for trucks. My favorite, besides the thimble of course, is an angry rubber duck hood ornament, shown below. There are several other hood ornaments, including a flying rooster and an illuminated winged pig, but none of them can hold a candle to the angry rubber duck. It is available in silvertone, goldtone, and black (sleek!) chrome ($179.99, $225.99, and $199.99, respectively).

As seen in the movie Convoy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Stitch in Time Costs Nine.

Sterling silver and blue enamel Stitch in Time Saves Nine thimble from Ketcham & McDougall; size 7, in round, no holes.
US $917.79; 23 bids, starting at $10.49.
19 May 2009.

The seller in this case does not usually sell thimbles. I often wonder what eBay sellers who aren't familiar with crazed, voracious thimble collectors must think when they see their auction prices fly out of the park as this one's did. This seller's other auctions have all been for jewelry--Tiffany, David Yurman, et al.--and haven't approached half of what this one little thimble went for.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thimble Alphabet Soup on eBay

Sterling DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) thimble from Simons Bros.; size 13, slight wear, in round, no holes.
US$91.51; 11 bids, starting at US$25.00.
3 May 2009.

Sterling FHA (Future Homemakers of America) thimble from Simons Bros.; in round, no holes.
US$43.99; 7 bids, starting at US$12.65.
3 May 2009.

The auction listing has FHA listed as Future Homeowners of America. I don't know that the error affected the price in any way. This was offered by one of my favorite eBay thimble sellers, Smirk6.

Sterling EGA (Embroiderers Guild of America) thimble from Simons Bros.; size 11, in round, no holes.
US $100.01; 8 bids, starting at US$10.49.
30 April 2009.

The seller had initially listed this as from the 1890s but later appended a note that he'd been informed that is was more recent and from the EGA. He noted that if the (then) sole bidder no longer wanted it (as it wasn't the advertised 1890s vintage) for the bid of $9.99, that bidder could simply not pay for it at the end of the auction and he would completely understand. Of course, this particular thimble is desirable not because of its age (or lack thereof), but because it's pretty hard for collectors to find. The EGA no longer sells this thimble, and only allowed its members to purchase it when it was selling it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

At auction at Bonhams

Sale 16798
Bonhams, London, Knightbridge
3 June 2009

Lot 102: A Victorian gilt bronze, hardstone necessaire, by Schäfer of Piccadilly, the silver gilt fitments by H W Dee, London 1871, the rectangular agate cover with gilt bronze hinge mount engraved with stiff leaves opens to reveal a grey velvet lined tray fitted with gilt metal and silver gilt sewing instruments engraved with paterae and foliage including: a pen knife, two bodkins, a thread pick, a thread holder, thimble, scissors, a patented spring loaded tape measure, a stiletto and a needlecase, the gilt bronze base with bombé sides engraved with matching paterae decoration, on four bun feet, height 4.8cm, length 19.3cm.
Estimate: £500-800 (about US$765-1220).

Update: Sold for £1440 (about US$2371) inclusive of Buyer's Premium.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Vintage thimble from Uruguay

This is another of my favorite thimbles.
I have no idea what "vintage" means here. It was sold to me as such, but it depends on how one defines the word. I've seen sellers refer to new, unremarkable thimbles as vintage treasures (see rant). I don't really know enough about South American thimbles to even guess about its age. I do think it's quite beautiful--the picture doesn't do it justice--and love it regardless of its age. (Oh! to be a vintage thimble from Uruguay!)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Fierce bidding for wedding thimble!

Bridezillas on a rampage?
OK, maybe not fierce bidding, but a lot of last minute bidding for this delicious wedding thimble up for auction from one of my favorite eBay vendors, Trollacht. This thimble supposedly [update: see comment or The 'Wedding' thimble. Thank You! ]would have been given as a token of romantic affectionwith its decorative band still attached, with the intention that the band would eventually be detached to become the recipient's wedding band.
Anyway, the opening bid for this thimble was US$9.00 at 4:34 pm on April 23rd. From there the bids crept up to about US$30.00 by May 1st. There it lolled around until early May 3rd when it popped up to the mid-$40ish range. At this point the actual high bid was US$65.03, but since the "high" bid on eBay is really the second highest bid plus a fixed amount--here probably a dollar--the on-screen high bid was, again, mid-$40ish. The auction was due to end May 3, 2009 12:25:00 PDT. At 12:19:01, six minutes before the auction's end, a bidder bid US$61.76, which meant that the on-screen high bid was listed at US$62.76 until 12:24:45 PDT, 15 seconds before auction's end, the bids shot up:
  • 12:24:45 - US $95.58
  • 12:24:50 - US $181.00
  • 12:24:53 - US $183.50, winning bid (actual bid surely higher), posted 7 seconds before close of auction
I don't know if the winning bidder used some kind of auction sniper, which places one's bid at the last possible moment before an auction closes, but a review of this bidder's past auction wins shows that the winning bids were all the only bids the person placed on the items and the bids were all in the last hour of the auction. EBay admonishes bidders to bid high early on to ensure eventual victory, but bidders like to hold off to the end to get the best deal. Sometimes one hopes that no one else will find the little gem one has one's heart set on winning, and thus doesn't want to draw attention to it by bidding. This works an incredibly small amount of the time. Usually eagle-eyed collectors all spot the good stuff and hold off until the last moment when they pile in with high bids. Like in this case.
I don't use auction snipers on eBay. If I need to I can get the bid in really close to the auction's end time (I've gotten it as close as 3 seconds--it's part of the fun to try), but sometimes I'm just not going to be the highest bidder, period. I saw it would be that way with this item, so I didn't bid at all.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

At auction at Christie's

Sale 7731
Christies, London, King Street
2 June 2009

Lot 163: Two George II Pinchbeck-mounted enamel and hardstone châtelaines with nécessaires
English, circa 1750
Shaped triangular suspension hook faced with hinged cartouche of gilt-metal chased with pastoral vignettes, c-scrolls and rocaille against sablé ground bordered with polished c-scrolls and rocaille, with a clip back, suspending two thimble cases, cast and chased on matted ground, and nécessaire with central cartouche enamelled en champlevé with chinoiserie against opaque blue ground on base and transparent guilloché ground on hinged lid, the sides cast and chased in frosted gold, containing scissors, tweezers, pencil holder, ivory tablet, folding knife and toothpick; together with a châtelaine of similar form, the cagework clip chased with foliage and rocaille and inset with bloodstone plaques, suspending two cast and chased thimble cases and nécessaire with bloodstone-set central cartouches on hinged lid and base, containing scissors, toothpick, pencil holder, ivory tablet, spoon, folding-knife and tweezers
7½ in. (190 mm.) long (2)
Estimate: £2,000-3,000 (US$2,956-4,434)
Update: Sold for £7,500 (about US$12,293) plus Premium and tax.