WMID-2D17EE: Post medieval: Incomplete thimble

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
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Unique ID: WMID-2D17EE

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An incomplete silver thimble of the Post Medieval period, probably dating from c. AD 1600 - c. AD 1700.

The thimble seems to be missing the crown and has been flattened and folded, probably as a result of time spent in the plough soil. The rim is complete and has been decorated with two rectangular raised ridges flanked by grooves with a horizontal row of pellets above. It has a frieze above the rim of repetitive fleurs-de-lis interrupted by a small panel containing two hearts. Both hearts are supported by putti (cherubs). Above this is a scallop design with small circular, regular, indentations covering the sides of the thimble. There is a visible horizontal break at the point the crown tapered to a domed top, the indentations from here are slightly smaller than they are on the sides. The top of the object appears to be broken and damaged.

The object measures 22.6 mm in length and is 16.1 mm wide. The object has a maximum thickness (in the centre) of 5.6 mm and the wall measures 0.9 mm thick. It weighs 4.9 g.

The object is a light to dark grey in colour with an uneven patina. Abrasion caused by movement whilst within the plough soil may have resulted in the loss of some of the original surface detail.

A thimble with a similar design has been recorded from Brighstone, Isle of Wight. (PAS: IOW-B0F192), and from Newport, Isle of Wight (PAS: IOW-7E8237, Treasure case no. 2011 T738).

Taken from IOW-7E8237:

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.


Metal content: The find contains a minimum of 10% silver and predates 1717. It thus qualifies as Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996 in terms of precious metal content and age.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
Subsequent action after recording: Donated to museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2017T488


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

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 22.6 mm
Width: 16.1 mm
Thickness: 5.6 mm
Weight: 4.9 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 1st January 2003 - Thursday 31st December 2015

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2017T488

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Staffordshire (County)
District: Staffordshire Moorlands (District)
Parish or ward: Leekfrith (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SJ9859
Four figure Latitude: 53.12816128
Four figure longitude: -2.03134333
1:25K map: SJ9859
1:10K map: SJ95NE
Grid reference source: Centred on field
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Found whilst out detecting
Current location: Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WMID
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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