SOM-62A2F8: Post Medieval thimble

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
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Unique ID: SOM-62A2F8

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Treasure case: 2012 T134, disclaimed, returned to finder.

Description: Silver thimble, split down the side and at several points around the rim and bent open with the top missing. The outer side is covered in multiple rows of small, closely spaced indented sub-square pits a part from a band by the base. This design is known as waffle-shaped and may indicate it was made on a lathe. On the band are incised two horizontal lines with a motto between them: BE YT + AS x GOD . WYLS cx, in Roman capitals. The last symbol is broken across the split but appears to be an alpha or cx. An additional D-shaped strip has been applied along the lower edge on the outer side to thicken it. This is mostly missing apart from about one sixth of the length which remains. Scarring on the rest of the rim shows where it was attached. The top edge appears even with a regular but rough, broken surface. All the breaks are patinated. Towards the top on the inner side the silver is uneven with suggestions of melting. There is no evidence of a hallmark or makers mark.

Dimensions: It is 21.7mm tall, 0.8mm thick, 1.2mm thick where the rim remains and weighs 5.11 grams.

Discussion: The relatively even break along the upper edge and suggestion of melting on the inner side may indicate the top was made separately and broke along a soldered joint. The side is also some times soldered on similar thimbles although the split on this example is less regular than the top with no evidence of solder on the inner side.

Treasure case 2011 T458 and 2007 T363 dated to the 17th century are very similar but without an inscription and complete with the separately made top. As well as many other plain examples some similar examples with waffle shaped indentations on the sides and a variety of religious inscriptions are known and also dated to the 17th century, e.g. 2010T637 inscribed LOVE GOD, lot 185 from the collection of Edwin F. Holmes, Christies South Kensington, 31st May 1995 which is inscribed 'FEAR GOD', NMS-D22563 inscribed LOVE GOD EVER, 2007 T80 inscribed FARE GOD ONLY and NMS248 inscribed GOD * FEAR E

Silver thimbles were used increasingly by wealthier people during the 17th century but once worn were often melted down for bullion and do not commonly survive (Thornton, D. in Treasure Annual Report 2005/6, p.163, no.831).

Consequently, in terms of age and as the object contains a minimum of 10% precious metal it qualifies as Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996.

Laura Burnett
FLO for Somerset
February 2012.

Inscription: BE YT + AS x GOD . WYLS cx

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder after being disclaimed as Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2012T134


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1600
Date to: Circa AD 1700

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Height: 21.7 mm
Thickness: 1.2 mm
Weight: 5.11 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 5th February 2012

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Laura Burnett
Identified by: Ms Laura Burnett

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2012T134

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Somerset (County)
District: Taunton Deane (District)
To be known as: Nynehead

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SOM
Created: 7 years ago
Updated: 4 years ago

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