For a long time now I have been surfing on eBay and posting links on Queendom Website to sewing tools and thimbles I find so that my followers will have a bit of a guide. I don't have any financial interest in the listings, in fact often I have no idea who the listing dealer is, I just like old sewing tools and am interested in the auctions.
This morning I checked on the listings I had posted recently and found a shock: an English filigree thimble, c. 1830, fetched only $65.00.
That's the lowest price I've seen for a filigree thimble.
One time in a Sunday sale in London, I found one for 15 pounds (at that time probably about $25.00), I bought it and swapped it with a dealer friend of mine and she sold it for many hundreds of pounds. I swapped it for a Brighton Pavilion thimble which at the time would have cost me several hundred pounds also.
So a price tag of $65.00 was a big shock to me!
Admittedly, the thimble had some damage, and condition always plays a huge role in price for an antique item. Still, at the height of the thimble craze, a filigree thimble with some damage but not disfiguring damage, would have fetched 10 times the amount of this one. In pristine condition, it would have cost $1000.00.
But that was at its height, and thimble prices have tumbled.
So what to do?
In my case, the time is here to look for thimbles. I've known this for some time and have profited greatly. I have bought a handful of thimbles I never thought I would own, sometimes at a fraction of the price they were when I wrote American Silver Thimbles. In a couple of cases, the thimbles so rare that I have only seen 1 or 2 in all the years I've been interested in thimbles.
When I was writing American Silver Thimbles all those years ago, I didn't buy many thimbles; I bought more sewing tools in those days. Now I haven't been buying many sewing tools; I've been looking for thimbles instead.
I am by nature a contrarian, and I am delighted to look for thimbles I would love to have when the prices are way down.
Will thimbles ever again reach their lofty prices of yesteryear? I don't know, but at the recent prices of $36.00 for a Simons Raised Grape thimble and $65.00 for a filigree thimble, it doesn't matter to me. I enjoy the thimbles, think they are beautiful little treasures from a bygone era and enjoy collecting them. Since I don't imagine I will sell them again, I don't consider them an investment except in enjoyment.
Tis a fun market to follow!