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- Article author: Jan Larson
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When you think of sewing tools, you consider functionality, comfort, fit, and style. But not many know that the humble thimble that makes stitching safer is a collectible.
Even as there is little space for embellishments due to its diminutive size, this tool is a rarity. Antique silver thimbles for sale come with impeccable stories from history or one-of-a-kind designs.
In recent times, makers of the board game Monopoly decided to discontinue its “thimble” playing piece. The reason was to make the game more relatable to younger groups, but now that thimble is a collectible.
The Fascination Around Antique Thimbles
For centuries, inventive thimble designers created stylish models despite the size restrictions. They also had colorful enamel patterns and expensive and semi-precious stones like polished agates. Thimbles were both hand-carved and machine-made.
Materials used to make vintage thimbles were silver, bronze, gold, wood, bone, stone, porcelain, and pearl. When you buy new style thimbles online, you see plastic, rubber, metal, and leather varieties.
Modern sewing tools are mostly made for practical purposes. But earlier, thimbles were also decorative pieces or doubled up as tiny perfume bottles.
Tips for Antique Thimble Buyers
Thimbles are tiny, portable, and thoughtful presents you can buy as souvenirs from places you visit or gift shops.
Many places promise original and antique silver thimbles for sale, but when you purchase them, it will be hard to tell their value.
Flea markets, auctions, and even garage sales have sewing boxes full of old thimbles. But when you shop there, the items may not have the sterling mark. It can get confusing because that is not the only thing that determines its worth.
So, how to buy vintage thimbles?
If plated or sterling silver thimbles have holes in them, avoid buying them. If they say repaired, double-check if the articles are extremely rare; otherwise, look elsewhere. Also, remember that repaired pieces usually sell for a lesser price than those in excellent condition.
Although old, some plain unmarked thimbles are available for lower rates. Check the dimples to get an idea of when it was made. If it has irregular patterns, it may be hand-punched and made in the early 1800s or before. The later models have a regular pattern, are machine-made, and cost less.
The store that has antique silver thimbles for sale also should be authentic. If you are buying online, check the credibility of the seller through a simple Google search. Read what other thimble collectors are saying. Look for complaints regarding shipping, customer service, etc., and find out if the website has repair services, too.
Finally, when you buy new style thimbles online, consider taking a look at related accessories and other rare items. For instance, there are products like thimble holders or cages to safeguard your precious antiques. Silver thread bobbins, needle keepers, and vintage scissor sheaths make a grand addition to your sewing-based collection.