I started collecting thimbles about three years ago and currently have just under 200. I only have two display units so not all of them are on show at the same time.
Why did I start collecting? Well, it all started with a little brown bear. I was checking out the auctions due to finish on eBay and came across this little guy around 5 minutes before he was due to end. He looked so cute and I felt a bit sorry for him, sat there with no bids. So I bid on him and won him. A bargain at only 50p.
I was delighted a few days later when he arrived in the post looking just as cute as he had online. So began my fascination with thimbles. Up until that point the only thimbles I had been aware of were the plastic ones in sewing kits, the metal one that I use for sewing and the souvenir ones on sale at theme parks and historical buildings. Most were showing the place I was visiting or were purely functional with floral designs. The little bear was the first thimble that I had come across which was not obviously linked to somewhere.
This encouraged me to go back on to eBay and see if he was a one off or if there were other cute thimbles out there. Unsurprisingly, there were quite a few! Not just of little brown bears either but of famous people, cartoon characters, film characters and famous advertising brands, some depicting brands that have long gone. In fact I came to realise that not only have thimbles got a history all of their own but their pictorial images and designs also help to preserve history. They can be used to commemorate anything and everything from Royal Weddings, coronations, births and jubilees to steam trains and different breeds of dogs. An amazingly versatile keepsake which takes up very little room.