KENT-6313C9: 17th century thimble

Rights Holder: Kent County Council
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Unique ID: KENT-6313C9

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A complete silver thimble dating to the Post-Medieval period, c. 1600-1700.

Description: The thimble is of two piece construction, consisting a sheet metal wall soldered together at one edge and a separate domed crown soldered to the top of the sides. The latter have split down their original joining point, though the thimble remains intact despite this.

The base of the thimble is sub-oval in plan due to slight distortion. The walls are decorated with square dimples and on each side two flat bands of half crescents connected with small rectangles. There is a plain band at the bottom with the inscription '+i JOY IN THEE'. There is a split down one side where it was slightly squashed.

Dimensions: Height: 26.26mm; width at base: 19.12mm; width at crown: 15.04mm: thickness: 0.40mm; weight: 4.74g. 

Discussion: A number of very similar inscibred silver thimbles have been recorded on the PAS database and reported under the Treasure Act 1996. These include: SF-FF7DF8, CAM-8A9FB5 and LANCUM-3FF604. A number are also illustrated by Read (2018, 24). So-called 'posies' on thimbles generally fall into three categories: 1) expressions of love or affection in a similar manner to 'posy' type rings, 2) expressions regarding industry or work the thimble itself might undertake, 3) religious passages or statements. This example clearly falls into the 1st of these a similar example, with an example possibly demonstrating the same message recorded at HAMP-8E2D65. Thimbles of this form are typically dated to the first three quarters of the 17th century (McConnell 1995, 24, Read 2018, 51) and appear to be of English manufacture. 

Conclusion: It is therefore clear that this assemblage dates to before 1718 and as the object is made of more than 10% precious metals, it constitutes potential Treasure under the stipulations of The Treasure Act 1996


Measurements to come

Inscription: +i JOY IN THEE

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Submitted for consideration as Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2019T330


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1600
Date to: Circa AD 1675

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Height: 26.26 mm
Width: 19.12 mm
Thickness: 0.4 mm
Weight: 4.74 g

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2019T330

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Manufacture method: Hand made
Completeness: Complete
Surface Treatment: Incised or engraved or chased

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Kent (County)
District: Tonbridge and Malling (District)
To be known as: Hadlow

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Generated from computer mapping software
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
McConnel, B. 1995 The Collector's Guide to Thimbles Bracken Books
Read, B. 2018 Metal Sewing-Thimbles Found in Britain Oxford Archaeopress

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: KENT
Created: 3 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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