Collecting Thimbles and Sewing Tools

Bridget McConnel shares her passion for the imagination and delicate artistry found on antique thimbles and sewing tools.


Selection of thimbles available through The Thimble Society

Thimble collecting is exciting, fun, and covers a wide price range. Each thimble is a perfect miniature display of art, invention and craftsmanship. Antique thimbles are made in every conceivable material: silver, gold, brass, porcelain, ivory, tortoiseshell and enamel. In the nineteenth century, they were considered the perfect gift of a gentleman to a lady.

Antique needle work tools, too long taken for granted as ordinary household objects, are enjoying a new and richly deserved interest among collectors of all ages and both genders. (Editor's Note: Thimbles stopped being made for general use in the 1940s, so there is a limited supply available which is also becoming more expensive. Even sewing tools made in the 1950s and 1960s, which is about when the main production of hand tools ceased, are collectable today.)

The Thimble Society was started in 1981 as a family firm in London, founded on a shared fondness for sewing related objects. Each season, the Society magazine contains a selection of thimbles and sewing tools for sale, related articles, restoring tips, identification, cataloguing advice, and a list of Thimble Society groups with whom one can enjoy shared interests.

Bridget McConnel, president of The Thimble Society, has been collecting and dealing in antiques, specialising in thimbles and sewing tools since 1980. She has also authored three books, The Collectors Guide to Thimbles, The Story of The Thimble - an Illustrated Guide for Collectors, and The Story of Antique Needlework Tools.

To purchase these or other books about thimbles, you can order online.