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Horner came on the scene when an estimated over 60 million thimbles were being produced worldwide. An ‘Improved Dorcas’ was followed by Dorcas Junior and Little Dorcas. Steel-lined imitators soon dropped into sewing baskets.
His thimbles had a center core of steel covered with thick outer layers of silver or gold. The most noted, Dura, Dreema, and Doris, were made in limited quantity and are difficult to find. Although most of these were plain silver thimbles, Froebel’s photographic example makes note of the few exemptions.
A marked piece preceding that date is a tremendous find.Many reproductions of sewing items are marked simple, “STERLING.” Gadgets There were thimbles with replaceable caps, collapsible thimbles, finger guards, magnetic ones to pick dropped needles out of floor cracks, and even thimbles to accommodate long fingernails. Magnifying glasses are thimble collectors’ best friends. Zalkin writes that finding them is “like looking for a thimble in a haystack.” “If it is a known pattern that would be recognized by its name, it will bring a higher price,” notes Froebel, giving Seated Cherubs, Pike’s Peak, Dolly Varden, Golden Spike, and Salem Witch as American-made examples.Some were quacks advertising to cure their users from ailments. Froebel’s husband, Dick, fashioned a “Thimblescope” enabling her to better see inside caps. While silver, gold, brass, aluminum advertising pieces, and some pewter materials are worthy investments, condition is critical, regardless of material or age. A Dolly Varden sold at auction for ,000 during the 2006 Thimble Collectors International (TCI) convention.Thimbles for children were often sold in sets of three graduating sizes.Since children usually outgrew thimbles, a pierced one would have likely been passed down.