WILT-E0D5FE: Roman thimble

Rights Holder: Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum
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Unique ID: WILT-E0D5FE

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A complete post-medieval silver thimble probably dating to the period AD c. 1600-c. 1700.

The thimble has a circular shape, slightly squashed, smooth and undecorated rim. Just above the rim, on one side of the thimble, is decorated with a small panel containing two hearts, inscribed S M. Both hearts are supported by putti. Above the hearts are the maker's initials: I R. The apex is convex and the surface of the object is completely covered with several horizontal rows of punches.

The thimble is hollow inside, now full of soil, and has a small through hole near the rim. It measures 18.31mm in length, 13.88mm in width and 0.47mm in thick. The rim is 15.69mm in external diameter and 14.12mm in internal diameter. The thimble weights 5.29g.

An almost identical thimble is recorded under the Treasure Act on PAS database IOW-7E8237, dating to 17th century.


Silver thimbles were used increasingly by the European nobility and gentry during the 17th Century but surviving examples are rare, given that thimbles were much used and, when worn, were likely to have been melted down for their bullion value. In England, silver thimbles are documented as having been donated by women on the Parliamentary side to be melted down during the Civil War. Even later 17th Century English silver thimbles are rare, with few pieces in the national collections in the British Museum and the Museum of London.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


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

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 18.31 mm
Width: 13.88 mm
Thickness: 0.47 mm
Weight: 5.29 g
Diameter: 15.69 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 7th November 2015

Personal details

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Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Collingbourne Kingston (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SU2456
Four figure Latitude: 51.3026203
Four figure longitude: -1.65712179
1:25K map: SU2456
1:10K map: SU25NW
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WILT
Created: 6 years ago
Updated: 4 years ago

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