Sewing Books

Holmes, Edwin F: A History of Thimbles (10114A)

Cornwall Books 1st 1985
large 4to, wr + chps to d/w edges + closed trs o/w F/VG+
1000 gms
(Order reference 10114A).

A History of Thimbles is the most authoritative and comprehensive survey that has been written to date concerning thimbles and their history, and it may well prove to be the definitive work on the subject. The book is aimed both at collectors who want a guide to help them identify their thimbles and find out more about them, and at those who desire a more general history of the subject. Many collectors will be gratified to find that an entire chapter has been devoted to the more popular Dorcas thimbles and that considerable attention has been paid to base metal and to plastic thimbles. It is the author's contention that iron and brass thimbles are in some ways more important than thimbles made of precious metals. Other collectors will welcome the layout of the book which, by having separate chapters for each of the four main thimble producing countries as well as separate chapters for each of the materials from which thimbles are made, provides a ready means of reference.

Readers will also appreciate the large number of illustrations, including some taken from manufacturers' catalogues, which have never appeared before.

More advanced collectors will revel in the older and rarer material, while at the same time coming to realize that there is always something new to learn and that however good their collections, they remain far from complete. The book will also appeal to students of social history because of the surprisingly important place which thimbles came to acquire in the household as well as their role as an objet de galanterie.

But the value of this book is not limited exclusively to its subject matter or the specialized research that lies behind it. Its value also rests on the fact that its author is an active and experienced collector, an enthusiast keen to pass on his knowledge, and someone who is prepared to advise others on every aspect of thimble collecting—including what to look for when buying and what to avoid, how to care for thimbles and even what museums to visit.