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Thimbles came into use as it was difficult to push an unpolished needle through thick fabric - fingers had to be protected. Ornate and decorated examples are all sought after by collectors.
Thimbles are a very popular item to collect in the UK and they are appreciated by a great many people
Thimbles can be obtained from a variety of sources, such as car boot sales, collectors fairs, flea markets and jumble sales, as well as antique dealers and antique fairs. The internet is another good source, especially on-line auctions.
Collectors can be of all ages and you are never too young or old to start a collection.
There is no real ability required for collecting thimbles, collectors just need the appreciation of the object. Whether they think of it as a object of beauty or appreciate it for its design or decoration.
The first thimbles were made in wood, bone, leather, tin or bronze, but later brass was used. When needlework became a respectable pastime for well-to-do ladies, thimbles were frequently made in delicately patterned silver, or maybe even gold. Sometimes they were ornamented with precious stones. Thimble collectors call themselves 'digitabulists'. Some specialise by collecting thimbles made just by one factory. Others buy souvenir thimbles from the different places which they visit.
To build up a collection of thimbles collectors need to be resourceful in their attempts to obtain items to add to their collection. You must be prepared to spend time rummaging through lots of items to find the one piece of treasure that you need to add to your collection. Much of the fun of collecting is the seeking of that elusive next item, whether it be at a car boot sale which could yield some great finds, or at a dealer where you may have to pay top prices.
Some modern thimbles can be bought for a few pounds, but some, by companies such as Wedgewood, which are produced for collectors can be as much as ?100 or more. Older and antique thimbles command much higher prices.
Level of Demand
The table below shows the maximum levels of demand that this activity requires. NOTE: These are not entry levels or levels of requirement and has nothing to do with ability.
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