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Dorcas Thimble Boxes | Easter | Gadgets | Francesca | Hallmarked Thimbles set | Miscellaneous Thimbles | 'Mother'
The World's Greatest Porcelain Houses | Royal Albert | Royal Crown Derby | Royal Doulton | Royal Worcester Handpainted Thimbles
Royal Worcester Decal Thimbles | S + H Foskett | Silver Advertising Thimbles | Spode | Stratnoid | SylvaC
Thimble Books | Thimble Collectors Club | Thimble Societies | Thimbles with Slogans
Thimblefuls | Victorian Silver Scenic Thimbles | Wedgwood Jasperware | Wedgwood Bone China

aluminium 1 | books 1 | brass 1 | china 5 | display cases 1
needlework tools 2 | other collectables 1 | pewter 1 | plastic 1
silver 3 | steel & metal 1 | unusual materials 1 | wood 1

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I am often asked about thimble and needlework tool books: which ones to buy or where to purchase them. Being a librarian and being passionate about books, it is easy for me. I try to obtain a copy of each relevant title as it is published!

Most of the books listed below are out of print, so you will have to look for those that interest you thru the second-hand market, which includes eBay. Where I know the books are still in print, I have listed them as such, with an address or email link where one is known and the ISBN [international standard book number which uniquely identifies each book]. Using this ISBN is the quickest in any search on the internet, if you are looking to buy.

I have been a member of Thimble Collectors International (TCI) TCI since 1986 and as part of their annual membership, up to 2002, I received a booklet published by their Grants Committee. It will be difficult to obtain these now, except from TCI members who are selling their booklets.

The ideal book has to have a good balance between photographs/illustrations and the text. In my opinion tho, one can never under-estimate the value of photographs as this is the link when you have an unidentified thimble - once you have found a matching photo you can then chase further information! Price guides are useful as a guide, but date the book so quickly.

Auction catalogues have become collectable in their own right, as well as being the benchmark in prices. There were accompanying coloured advertising postcards for most of these catalogues. It is a while now since paper copies of auction catalogues have been produced - all are now produced electronically.

I have opted not to include the published prices as these vary so from country to country. ** indicates that the original published price was in excess of AU$100.

It would be great to hear of any further books or where they can be obtained if they are still in print. A website link would be useful, as well as the ISBN. If there is no picture, maybe you could send the scanned cover, where there are blank spaces in this listing.

The opinions are mine alone.


  Books about Thimbles  
Listed in alphabetical order by title

Bertha Betensley
52 thimble patents (1980)

Privately published, this is a very useful booklet on thimble patents includes the patent drawings and descriptions. Arranged alphabetically by the patentee.

Philadelphia Thimble Society
American gold thimbles (2009)

This long-awaited publication won't disappoint those looking for the gold thimble makers on the USA!! In full colour.

to buy this book website

Mildred B. Jarvis
American Belleek porcelain thimbles and related sewing articles (1991)

From TCI. This booklet is aimed at the American market as these thimbles are rarely seen outside American collections.

Gay Ann Rogers
American silver thimbles (1989)

This is the bible for American silver thimbles. There is a wealth of information as well as many clear black and white (which is perfect for silver thimbles) photographs, with succinct descriptions. There is a separate price-guide, which was available from the author.
ISBN 1869812034

Averil Mathis
Antique & collectible thimbles and accessories (1991)

The beauty about Mathis' book, is the large clear black and white photos, which includes a section on thimble holders. The text is minimal; there is a 1991 price guide in US$.
ISBN 0891453229

Jo Ann Rath
Antique and unusual thimbles (1979)

A general guide with mainly black and white photos, with good descriptions; predominantly US silver thimbles.
ISBN 0498020657

John J. von Hoelle
Benjamin Halstead: America's first thimble manufacturer (1985)

This is one of a series of booklets on the American thimble makers, privately published by von Hoelle.

Myrtle Lundquist
The book of a thousand thimbles (1970)

This book caused great excitement on its publication as it was the first book published specifically for thimble collectors. After 30 years it has not stood the test of time with the quality of photos.
ISBN 0870690086

Christina Bertrand
Brass thimbles (1986)

From TCI. Tho it is 16 years since this was published, this booklet is still of use as it is the only one to concentrate on brass thimbles. It would be great if Christina could be persuaded to update this to cater for the collectors who specialise in brass thimbles.

Dorothy Friend
British commemorative and souvenir thimbles (1987)

From TCI. As the title suggests, this has a wider audience than the US where the booklet was published. Concentrates on the pre-1900 thimbles, with black and white photos.

Norma Spicer & Diane Pelham Burn
British registered design thimbles (2003)

Clear photos with text of 30 British mainly silver thimbles that have registered designs.

Royal Crown Derby
A collection of thimbles (1986)

This book was issued to accompany the set of 15 thimbles issued by Royal Crown Derby. Black and white illustrations

Yvette L E Payot; edited by Societe du Musee de Montreux, Switzerland
Le dé à coudre á travers les âges (2005)

Museum's website

Michel Painsonneau
Le dé à coudre en France. (Tome 1er) De l'origine au XVIe siecle (2013)

I trust an English translation is on the cards?

Lucile Bloomquist, Merle and Paul Sauvé
A dictionary for collectors (1992)

From TCI. Useful, tiny booklet of terms for thimble parts, materials, thimble makers and decorations.

Diane Pelham Burn
Early thimbles (2001)

From TCI. Di covers thimbles of the period where they were made by hand, in a scholarly way. A must for collectors of thimbles of this era. Full colour photographs for easier identification; arranged by the European country of origin.

Cecile Dreesmann
Een vingerhoedje… A thimble full… Dreams, vol 3 (1983)

A bilingual - Dutch and English - small book on thimble collecting in general with clear photos and matching text.
ISBN 9066550112

Dan Walbrun
Enameled thimbles of Norway (2012)
This is the latest booklet from Thimble Collectors International and it is lavishly illustrated with these glorious thimbles.

TCI's website

John J. von Hoelle
The family Simons: thimblers to America for 130 years (1985)

Another in the series of booklets privately published by von Hoelle on the largest of the American thimble makers. Based on the early records of the late Elizabeth Galbraith Sickels.

Frederique Crestin-Billet
La folie des dés à coudre (2003)

Clear colour photographs; brief French text. No maker's marks
ISBN 2082008894

Paul H. Jungbludt
Gebruder Gabler G.m.b.H. Fingerhutfabrik [cover title]
Preise und Abbildungen von Gebruder Gabler [title page]

There is little information about Gabler and this booklet goes a long way to remedy this gap. The illustrations are from 1930 Gabler catalogues. The introduction is in English and German - the catalogue of thimbles is only in German.
ISBN 3992031862

Norma Spicer
Henry Griffith & Sons of Birmingham & Leamington Spa (1999)

Norma's name is synonymous with the Victorian thimble silversmiths. This is the first of four titles and there is a neat balance about the life of Griffith and his thimbles.

Philadelphia Thimble Society
Henry Muhr and Sons: Philadelphia thimble makers (1985)

Many black and white pictures of the different styles and patterns in this slim booklet.

Edwin J. Holmes
History of thimbles (1985)

In my opinion this is the most authoritative book on thimbles ever written. It succeeds his first book of 1976 entitled 'Thimbles'. If I am looking for detailed, scholarly and accurate information, it is usually to be found in Holmes. The photos are mainly in black and white throughout the text. Arranged by what the thimbles are made of.
It was supplemented by issues 1-20 of Thimble Notes & Queries, which Holmes published quarterly between 1998 and 1993, available to 200 subscribers worldwide. His untimely death in 1997, robbed the world of its finest thimble scholar.
ISBN 0845347616

Diane Pelham Burn
Identifying steel-cored thimbles (1993)

Published by the Dorset Thimble Society. A Supplement was published in 1997. This is an invaluable booklet for collectors of Dorcas thimbles as there are illustrations throughout.

Norma Spicer
Iles: a family of thimble makers (2001)

The final booklet in Norma's quartet of British thimble makers. As silver thimbles become scarcer, this booklet on Iles will open up a whole new world of collecting base metal thimbles. A good balance between history and his actual thimbles.

Norma Spicer
James Fenton: silversmith and thimble maker etc. (1995)

For collectors of this Victorian English silversmith's thimbles, this authoritative booklet is a must.

Norma Spicer
James Swann (& Son) makers of gold and silver thimbles 1887-present (1997)

If you'd like to know more about Swann the silversmith, as well as his thimbles, including the current makers of JS&S thimbles, this booklet is for you.

Deb Daniels
John Lofting (2012)

"It is a drama but the most important sections are factual. Especially significant in that regard is the court case of 1700 which was an early precursor to the American revolution. John may have understood the significance of the case in which he had inadvertently become embroiled, but he did not live to see the revolution". This means the book will have little relevance to thimble collectors, tho Lofting was the "father" of British thimbles.
ISBN 13 978-1477602539

Email the author

Edwin J. Holmes
John Lofting: an early thimble maker (1984)
From TCI. The booklet is based on the notes gathered by the late Mrs. Elizabeth Aldridge. Scholarly.

Magdalena and William Isbister
Late nineteenth and early twentieth century French silver thimble masters' marks (2007)

The first booklet to unravel some of the mystery surrounding French thimble makers' marks

Bridget McConnel
Letts guide to collecting thimbles (1991)

This is the first of McConnel's books. It is a general book on thimbles with a balance between text and photos. It has mainly colour photographs, reproducing some thimbles that appeared for sale in Thimble Society of London. Also published with the title "A Collectors Guide to Thimbles".
ISBN 1852381205

Martin Needham
The nimble thimble: a profile of thimble collectors (1993)
Helmut Greif
Nuremberg thimblemakers (1986)

From TCI. Lots of detail and the black and white photographs complement the text for this important era in the history of thimble making, being some of the earliest.

Ann Blakeslee Black
Of Meissen thimbles (2000)

From TCI. Many full colour, large photographs throughout the booklet.

Michel Painsonneau
Les prestigieux dés à coudre francais (2012)

194 pages, with black and white photos - in French. Literal translation "The prestigious French thimbles".
ISBN 9782954215303


Manfred Wolber
Recovered treasures: thimbles of the Johann Moritz Rump Company (1990)

Text in German and English.

Bernadine Rein Biske
A sampler of thimbles from the collection of Rosi Miller (2004)

One colour photo per page, with many gold thimbles.

JB Publishing
47529 Cheryl Ct
Shelby Township MI 48315-4707 USA

Email the author

Diane Pelham Burn
Sew small: children's sewing tools (1986)

From TCI. Until this booklet was published there was no information on the plethora of thimbles and tools that were made for children. Wonderful photos. A reprint on superior paper is now available.

John J. von Hoelle
The story of Bilston painted enameled thimbles (1988)

Another in the series of booklets privately published by von Hoelle, with black and white photos.

John J. von Hoelle
The story of Ketcham & McDougall: America's premier thimble manufacturer (1987)

Another in the series of booklets privately published by von Hoelle. Based on the research of the late Elizabeth Galbraith Sickels.

John J. von Hoelle
The story of Stern Brothers & Co. and their successors Goldsmith, Stern & Company (1985)

Another in the series of booklets privately published by von Hoelle. Based on the research of the late Elizabeth Galbraith Sickels.

Bridget McConnel
The story of the thimble (1997)

This is profusely illustrated with colour photos, with less text - some photos from her first book and others from thimbles for sale thru Thimble Society of London. Arranged by period.
ISBN 0764303112

Schiffer Books website

Helmut Greif
Talk about thimbles (1983)

One of the few books that deals with European thimbles, specifically German thimble makers.
Original German title: Gesprache uber Fingerhute
ISBN 385378206X

Myrtle Lundquist
Thimble Americana and contemporary collectibles (1981)

This is the third and final book in the trilogy by Lundquist. It covers thimbles in general, not just American thimbles and the pages alternate with photographs in colour and black and white, with captions.
ISBN 0870693263

John J. von Hoelle
Thimble collector's encyclopedia. 3rd ed. (1986)

If looking for instant information, this must the first port of call. The information is fleeting, but a good starting point. The mainly black and white illustrations are invaluable. There is a 1986 US$ price guide.
ISBN 0870694847

Thimble collector's record book (1994)

Create a catalogue with a record of your thimbles in this 32 page book.

Franz Groiss
Thimble faktory in Vienna (1990)

The illustrations of thimbles from the Settmacher factory in Vienna are from the trade catalogues. A good reference tool.

Evelyn DerMarderosian, Jeannine Connor and Marjorie Perkins
Thimble language: a thimble collectors glossary of terms (1988)

An alphabetic listing with illustrations of the thimbles being described. Pamphlet.

Myrtle Lundquist
Thimble treasury (1975)

This second book from Lundquist has alternating pages of thimble photographs and captions. In colour and black and white.
ISBN 0870691236

Bernadine Biske, Mary Frances Cataney, Peggy Carroll, Charlotte Goldberg, Rachel Himmelberger; edited by Mabel Rogers
The thimble undercover in children's books (2001)

A listing of 428 titles of children's books [bibliography] where thimbles are mentioned or illustrated. Privately published.

Email the editor

Averil D. Mathis
Thimblemakers: illustrated trade marks and personal record book (1981)

Most of the small-formatted book is for recording the items in your collection. The listing of thimble makers' marks is for American makers.

Susan Jean Gowan
Thimbles and other needlework tools: a selected bibliography (1995)

This is a listing of books and journal articles published until 1995. No photographs or illustrations, a reference tool. A very useful index, tho now dated. Privately published.

Eleanor Johnson
Thimbles and thimble cases. 2nd ed (1999 Reprint with more colour 2006)

Johnson's first edition first published in 1982 to English collectors, was what Lundquist's book was to American collectors - the first! This second edition came about when Shire Book had sold 100,000 copies of her first edition! This edition has introduced colour photos, retaining some of the black and white ones of the first edition. Though the thimbles are quite small, the accompanying captions are detailed, with lots of text. A general book, still excellent value for all beginners.
ISBN 9780747804031

Susan Jean Gowan
Thimbles of Australia (1998)

One of the first thimble books that has attempted to cover the thimbles of an entire country. Mainly black and white photos, with useful illustrations of maker's marks. Arranged by what the thimbles are made of.
ISBN 0864179464

Susan Jean Gowan
Thimbles of Australia: the colour photos (2012)

14 years after the publication of the book, this CD attempts to provide colour photos of the thimbles featured in the book - but much much more, totally over 1900 images - includes all new finds. Arranged in the same order as the book.

Thimbles of Australia website

Mary Peckover
Thimbles of clay (1996)

From TCI. An alphabetic listing of pottery, porcelain and china thimble makers. No photographs or illustrations in this booklet.

Beryl Frank
Thimbles of France with waffled knurling (2003)

The latest publication from TCI. Clear illustrations supplements the text, to be able to distinguish between the original and 1970s re-strikes of these prized silver thimbles.

Thimbles Collectors International website

Jenny Scharff Bockel
Thimbles of Southern Africa (2005)

This is the first book ever published dealing with South African thimbles. The section on the sewing items from the Boer War is superb. Full colour photographs.

Email the author

Joachim Kornelius
Thimbles of the William Prym Company: the history of a bygone thimble production ... (1988)

In German and English. Photographs from the 1934 Prym catalogues.

Adrienne de Smet
De vingerhoed in het kunstambacht (1992)

A general book on thimbles, written in Dutch. There are clear colour photographs throughout. The arrangement is by the material the thimbles are made of.
ISBN 9074042015

Estelle Zalkin
Zalkin's handbook of thimbles & sewing implements (1988)

This book successfully combines what no other has - a good coverage of both thimbles and needlework tools. There are copious black and white photos for each section, with text at the beginning of each chapter. There is a price guide in US$, which has been updated in succeeding reprints.
The author has advised that this book will not be reprinted having been in print for 15 years = March 2003.
ISBN 0911594140

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  Books about Needlework Tools  
Listed in alphabetical order of title

Advertising & figural tape measures: collector's digest (1995)

A book of full colour photographs for easy identification of predominantly advertising tape measures. No text.
ISBN 0895380315

Nerylla Taunton
Antique needlework tools and embroideries (1997)

A more sumptuous and authoritative book on this subject will be hard to find. Twenty years in the writing Nerylla has divided the book into centuries until 1910 and each chapter has exquisite photos, along with the scholarly research we associate with Nerylla, with the relevant embroideries that were made by the tools of the period. We were privileged in Australia to have had this author as our guide and mentor until her death in 1998. The book will be republished in 2006.

Antique Collectors Club
Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK
ISBN 1851492534

Barbara Gullers
Antique sewing tools and tales (1992)

The combination of her American and Scandinavian backgrounds make this book of tools unusual. Very little text, but the wonderful photos make up for this.
ISBN 0941250024

Genevieve Cummings and Nerylla Taunton
Chatelaines: utility to glorious extravagance (1994)

This highly specialised book is prized in the wider collecting world as there is only one chapter that deals with chatelaines that contain sewing tools. The scholarly research and wonderful colour photographs set the benchmark for quality publishing in our field.
ISBN 1851492062

Elizabeth & Douglas Arbittier and Janet & John Morphy
Collecting figural tape measures (1995)

A complementary book on tape measures to that on advertising tape measures. Hundreds of colour photographs to help in identification. Has a price guide.
ISBN 0887408664

Schiffer Books website

Rita Heath
Cotton reel stands (1999)

Published by the Dorset Thimble Society. A dream book for those collectors who specialise in collecting these antique stands. Contains black and white and colour photographs throughout, with good captions; little other text in this booklet.

Wayne Mueller
Darn it! The history and romance of darners (1994)

Copiously illustrated with clear colour photographs; text on opposite page
ISBN 0895380722

Darlene Gengelbach
Encyclopedia of children's sewing collectibles (2006)

Colour photos of sewing tools for dolls. 700 pages
ISBN 9781574325263

Collector Books website

Mary C Beaudry
Findings: the material culture of needlework and sewing (2006)

A scholarly work, with few illustrations. Thimble chronology needs investigation for accuracy

Frederique Crestin-Billet
La folie des ciseaux (2003)

One pair of scissors per page with clear colour photographs; brief French text.
ISBN 2082008886

Sheila Williams
The history of knitting pin gauges (2006)

Another interesting specialised topic with copious black and white photographs with lots of history of the English makers of these humble tools.
ISBN 1905226756

Publisher's website

Sylvia Groves
The history of needlework tools and accessories (1966; reprint 1973)

One of the forerunners of her subject, this early book is much sought after. In black and white, the text predominates. Unusual tools illustrated as well the work they produced.
ISBN 0715359134

Gay Ann Rogers
An illustrated history of needlework tools (1983)

The first of her two books, Rogers' book is a joy of information. Plenty of photos in black and white, but the text predominates.
ISBN 0719540216

Debbie Fuller
Introduction to sewing trading cards (1988)

From TCI. Contains black and white photos of American sewing/trade cards.

Terry Meinke
My Avery needle case collection (2012)

Superbly photographed showing many views of these prized collectables.

Norma Spicer
Nanny brooches (2001)

Privately published. The only comprehensive information on nanny brooches yet disseminated.

Jean Scott
Needle packet holders (2006)

Privately published. Full colour, showing Avery brass needle packet holders in the main.

Email the author

Ken Arnold
Needlework and associated collectables (2004)

Published in Australia, this book, made up mainly of old advertisements from long-gone magazine articles, includes handwork made from the tools illustrated.
ISBN 1875342443

Eleanor Johnson
Needlework and embroidery tools. 2nd ed [2004]

This new edition followed the popular new edition of Johnson's Thimbles book! This edition has introduced colour photos, retaining some of the black and white ones of the earlier editions. Though the tools are quite small, the accompanying captions are detailed, with lots of text. A general book, still excellent value for all general tool collectors.
ISBN 9780747803997

Molly Proctor
Needlework tools and accessories; a collector's guide. (1990)

A good, general coverage of needlework tools - black and white photos for identification. Good chapter on scissors.

Kay Sullivan
Needlework tools and accessories; a Dutch tradition. (2004)

Twenty years of research shows in this wonderful full colour addition to the stable of Antique Collectors Club, Woodbridge publications. Dutch marks are an invaluable source. Most photographs show previously unpublished items.
ISBN 1851494715

Antique Collectors Club website

Christina Bertrand
Notions of war (1991)

From TCI. Highly specialised and comprehensive from 17th century to World War II, tho this booklet covers both tools and thimbles, it concentrates mainly on tools. Perfect for the thematic collector.

Joyce Clement
The official price guide to sewing collectibles; the only guide to current market values for everything from buttons to thimbles! (1987)

Tho very dated, this alphabetical listing of the prices are of interest as a guide for today's prices - eBay tho has changed pricing forever!!
ISBN 0876377479

Mary Andere
Old needlework boxes and tools: their story and how to collect them (1971)

One of the earliest books available on the subject, with line drawings of sewing tools and photographs of sewing boxes.
ISBN 0715352601

Gertrude Whiting
Old-time tools & toys of needlework (1971)

This book was first published in 1928 and reprinted at the start of modern-day collecting. Has black and white photos of unusual tools, with quite a few ethnic tools.
ISBN 0486225178

Frederique Crestin-Billet
Ouvrages de dames: mercerie, broderie (2005)

This book on French thimbles and sewing tools is taken form the early 20th century magazine ads in Au Bon Marche. Wonderful colour photos of superb French thimbles and sewing tools.
ISBN 2845672888

Sylvie Collett
Palais Royal needlework tools (2009)

This slim unpaged, self published booklet has full colour photos of wonderful French sewing sets.

Email the author

Jeff Hopewell
Pillow lace and bobbins 2nd ed. (200?)

Shire booklet. The 2nd edition has moved on from black and white photos to mainly colour - many old lace bobbins illustrated.

Averil Colby
Pincushions (1975; paperback 1988)

There are very few books just on pincushions and in her book Colby combines antique pincushions and how-to-make your own pincushions.
ISBN 0713458801

E D Longman and S Loch
Pins and pincushions (1911)
Sandy Woodyard
Pocket sewing kits (2006)

This is the first specialised coverage of this topic - in full colour with substantial captions accompanying the photographs. Privately published. Also available in CD format

Email the author

Massimiliano Mandel
Scissors (1990)

One of the only books available on this specialised topic. It's in A3 format: a bit tricky to scan. Full colour photos with several scissors per page. Brief captions and no text.
ISBN 1854221825

Diane Pelham Burn
Sew precious: children's needlework tools & dolls' sewing tools (2010)

A history of these charming very collectable miniatures.

Elaine Gaussen
Sewing accessories: a collectors guide (2001)

A very useful little booklet, in the series Millers Guides, aimed at the beginner. Each section is only two-pages long, but richly illustrated. Includes thimbles.
ISBN 1840003537

Email the author

Victor Houart
Sewing accessories: an illustrated history (1984)

Another early general book in the field. Sparsely illustrated but brings a European touch to the subject. Many errors have been found.
ISBN 0285626345 or 0285626299

Helen Lester Thompson
Sewing tools & trinkets (1997)

A general book, lavishly illustrated. Little text, but comprehensive captions.
ISBN 0891457364

Collector Books website

Helen Lester Thompson
Sewing tools & trinkets vol 2 (2002)

Following her successful formula, this contains more of the same as her first book.
ISBN 1574322877

Collector Books website

Mignon S. Jeffords
Sharing sewing sets (1984)

A gentle story of various sewing sets that Mignon has encountered along the way. Booklet size.

Joan Roberts
Stilettos (2007)

Issued by the Dorset Thimble Society this specialist booklet is copiously illustrated with lovely examples.

Bridget McConnel
The story of antique needlework tools ** (1999)

A lavish coffee table book, in full colour. Arranged by century, with a section on tools from private collections.
ISBN 076430710X

Schiffer Books website

Pam Palmer
Tatting shuttles: related tools & accessories (2003)

The newest tatting book to hit the shelves. Excellent colour photographs. The definitive work.
ISBN 0953507629

Heidi Nakayama
Tatting shuttles of American collectors (2002)

For the specialist collector. Excellent photographs. Concentrates on the American shuttle.
ISBN 0972062807

Krazy about Tatting Shuttles website

Diane Pelham Burn
Thread winders: a collector's guide (2001)

This book, privately published, updates the earlier title. Scholarly treatment, with many colour photographs.

Diane Pelham Burn
Thread winders for collectors (1989)

From TCI.

Estelle Horowitz & Ruth Mann
Victorian brass needlecases (1992)

These treasures are comprehensively covered, with wonderfully detailed photos of Avery needlecases.
ISBN 0962585327

Frances Graves
Whimsies in the sewing room (1997)

From TCI. Full colour, one item per page with detailed captions. Unusual tools included in this booklet.

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  Books about Other related items  
Listed in alphabetical order of title

Debra J Wisniewski
Antique & collectible buttons: identification & values (1997, + values updated 2007 )

Well laid-out guide with price guide.
ISBN 9780891457114

Publisher's website

Genevieve Cummins
Antique boxes - inside and out ** (2006)

A comprehensive guide to the decoration, style, use and contents of all types of boxes, including sewing boxes.
ISBN 1851495029

Antique Collectors' Club website

Kenneth Cavill, Graham Cocks and Jack Grace
Australian jewellers: gold & silversmiths - makers & marks ** (1992)

The definitive work in glorious colour. Very useful for identifying Australian silver marks.
ISBN 064611042X

Diana Epstein and Millicent Safro
Buttons (1991)

Museum quality buttons, copiously illustrated.
ISBN 0810931133

Alan and Gillian Meredith
Buttons (2000)

The latest Shire Book button book. Plenty of photographs.
ISBN 0747804664

Bradbury's book of hallmarks (2000)

You can't collect English silver thimbles without a book to identify hallmarks. The definitive work.
ISBN 0709067690 [2000 ed]

Tom Lawson
Charles Horner of Halifax: a celebration of his life and work ** (2002)

The long-awaited, glorious book on Charles Horner, the Victorian silversmith. There is a great chapter on thimbles, by Norma Spicer.
ISBN 0954235401

Douglas Jull
Collecting stanhopes (1988)

Jull whetted our appetite for this subject, with this slim volume. Privately published, with copious black and white photos, with good captions; little text. More than just needlework tools. Unpaged.

Primrose Peacock
Discovering old buttons (1996)

An earlier title by Shire Books.
ISBN 0852634455

Sylvia Katz
Early plastics (1994)

Though this book does not deal with either thimbles or needlework tools, it is invaluable, but technical, in defining the different forms of plastic. A Shire Book.
ISBN 0747802440

Eleanor Johnson
Ladies' dress accessories (2004)

Includes a few types of needlework tools. A Shire Book.
ISBN 0747805709

Carol Andrews
Making needlework accessories with beads (2004)

For the advanced embroiderer, make your own heirlooms of the future.
ISBN 0903585332

Christine Erratt
Marks on Australian silver 1950-2005 ** (2010)

Comprehensive listing of the marks of Australian silversmiths into the 21st century with clear photos of maker's marks.
ISBN 9780646523279

publisher's website

John Baker
Mauchline Ware (1985)

One of the Shire Books, which gives a general introduction to the subject, which covers many 19th century tools.
ISBN 0852637349

David Trachtenberg and Thomas Keith
Mauchline Ware (2002)

Comprehensive coverage. It's a sheer joy to own.
ISBN 1851493921

Antique Collectors' Club website

John G Rollins
Elaine Gaussen and Bente Oxseth
Scandinavian hallmarks (1991)

Published by the Dorset Thimble Society, this booklet is an alphabetic listing of makers' marks.

Jean Scott
Stanhopes: a closer view (2002)

A definitive scholarly work will have wider appeal than just tools collectors. Wonderful illustrations to accompany the in-depth text.
ISBN 1897738099

Email the author

Pam Palmer
Tatting (1996)

A Shire Book, that whets the appetite for all those who tat or collect the tools.
ISBN 0747803129

Thimble Collectors International
TCI museum guide (1998)

From TCI. A country-by-country guide to museums around the world that display or own needlework tools.

Margaret A. V. Gill
Tunbridge Ware (1985)

A Shire Book, this background work has very useful information on tools of this Victorian speciality.
ISBN 0852637128

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  Thimble catalogues & magazines  
Listed in alphabetical order of title

Feldman catalogues [Germany]

Sampler & antique needlework quarterly [USA]

PJ Walter
Thimble catalogues [Germany]

Thimble Collectors Club [England and USA]

TCI bulletin [USA]

Thimble Collectors International website

The Thimble Guild [Scotland]

The Thimble Guild website

The Thimble Society [of London]

The Thimble Society website

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  Auction catalogues  
Listed in alphabetical order of auctioneer name and then in descending order by date

Sewing boxes, tools and related items (5 December 2007)
Mauchline, Tunbridge, Fern and Tartan ware including: Part Three of the Mauchline ware collection of the late Barry Kottler together with buttons, button hooks, hat pins and half dolls

The sewing sale (13 December 2006)
Sewing boxes, thimbles, sewing tools and buttons including: two collections of Mauchline, Tunbridge, Fern and Tartan ware

Most from two private collections - Barry Kottler and Betty Trull (1920-2003)

Bonhams: auctioneers and valuers
The sewing sale (15 December 2004)

Two collections included in this sale are from Miss D.M.C Bramwell and Eleanor Adams

Bonhams: auctioneers and valuers
Embroideries, costume, textiles, lace and fans (16 December 2003)
Sewing boxes, books and related items (17 December 2003)

Features part of the collection of Mrs Sylvia Barr

Bonhams: auctioneers and valuers
Sewing boxes, tools related items (12 December 2002)

Bonhams: auctioneers and valuers
The sewing sale (13 December 2001)

Christie's South Kensington
Thimbles and needlework accessories (30 October 2007)

Collection of the Jungmans

Christie's South Kensington
Thimbles and sewing accessories (2000)

Christie's South Kensington
Thimbles and sewing accessories (3 June 1999)

Christies South Kensington
Thimbles and needlework accessories (9 December 1998)

Christie's South Kensington
Thimbles and needlework accessories (14 July 1998)

Christies South Kensington
Thimbles & needlework accessories from the collection of Mrs Doris. E Ramstead (16 December 1997)

Christie's South Kensington
Thimbles and sewing accessories (3 June 1997)

Including selected pieces from the collection of Mrs. Estelle Zalkin

Christie's South Kensington
Thimbles and needlework tools including the collection of the late Marion Wilson (12 June 1996)

Christie's South Kensington
Thimbles from the collection of Edwin F. Holmes (31 May 1995)

Phillips: international auctioneers & valuers
Sewing boxes, tools, samplers and related books (7 December 2000)

Phillips:international auctioneers & valuers
The "lost" collection of the late Sylvia Mary Groves
together with property from other vendors ...
(2 December 1999)

Phillips: international auctioneers & valuers
Fine antique sewing boxes, thimbles, tools and related items
including the thimble collection of Richard Bates ...
(3 December 1998)

Phillips: international auctioneers & valuers
Fine antique sewing boxes, thimbles, tools and related items together with needleworks, textiles and related books (11 December 1997)

Phillips: international auctioneers & valuers
Fine antique sewing boxes, thimbles, tools and related items (5 December 1996)

Phillips: international auctioneers & valuers
A private collection of fine antique sewing boxes, tools, 17th century and later needleworks, textiles and related books (21 September 1995)

Phillips: international auctioneers & valuers
Thimbles, sewing tools, scent bottles, card cases and works of art (13 December 1990)

Phillips: international auctioneers & valuers
The story collection (18th December 1989)

Phillips: international auctioneers & valuers
Sewing boxes, sewing tools and related items, the collection of the late Louisa Woollatt (1908-1976) (15 November 1989)

Skinner: auctioneers and appraisers of antiques and fine art
Discovery auction including the thimble collection of Mignon S. Jeffords (29-30 October 1998)

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EMAIL thimbleselect@bigpond.com TO SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE.


Robert Bleasdale | Sue Christensen | Deb Daniels | Charlotte Goldberg | Lynda Herrod | Monique Libois | Wynneth Mullins | Ray Nimmo | Elaine Rogers | Mabel Rogers | Irene Schwall | Joanna Waciorski

This listing of Thimble Books and other references does not purport to be complete or accurate in all aspects. Rather it invites comment and contribution to add to our knowledge. My thanks to the other contributors.


© Sue Gowan
January 2003

Brass Advertising | British Placenames | British Royalty on Thimbles | British Silversmiths | Charles May | Christmas | Coalport
Dorcas Thimble Boxes | Easter | Gadgets | Francesca | Hallmarked Thimbles set | Miscellaneous Thimbles | 'Mother'
The World's Greatest Porcelain Houses | Royal Albert | Royal Crown Derby | Royal Doulton | Royal Worcester Handpainted Thimbles
Royal Worcester Decal Thimbles | S + H Foskett | Silver Advertising Thimbles | Spode | Stratnoid | SylvaC
Thimble Books | Thimble Collectors Club | Thimble Societies | Thimbles with Slogans
Thimblefuls | Victorian Silver Scenic Thimbles | Wedgwood Jasperware | Wedgwood Bone China

aluminium 1 | books 1 | brass 1 | china 5 | display cases 1
needlework tools 2 | other collectables 1 | pewter 1 | plastic 1
silver 3 | steel & metal 1 | unusual materials 1 | wood 1

Any questions or comments?
I do not offer any type of valuation or advice on prices.

  Last updated 21 November 2013  
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