A digitabulist collects thimbles. This small and very old object dates back to the Middle Ages. It is a case to protect the tailor's fingers. The majority of thimbles are made of metal and are studded on the outside. There are also thimbles made of ivory, porcelain or even bone. They can cover the whole right or be a simple ring.

Thimble collectors can collect in different ways. Either they collect old thimbles. In this case, they will be interested in metal or ivory thimbles, not decorated porcelain thimbles. They will appreciate the irregularities in the contours of the thimble, signs of a probable handmade manufacture, as it was the case for thimbles before 1800. The size of the thimble also seems to be a good indicator, as old thimbles are not as wide. It would indeed seem that the tailors of the time had thinner fingers than today! Of course, they will be very interested in beautiful antique chiselling and noble metals.

Other collectors have chosen porcelain thimbles. These are more modern and date at best from the 18th century. The budget of this collection is much less important. There are many designs, either painted on the thimbles or modifying their aspect. The advertising thimble appeared in the 20th century. It can be found in several collections.

If you too would like to start a thimble collection, don’t hesitate to narrow down your subject as there are thousands of different designs and styles! Discover them on Delcampe!

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Written by Héloïse

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