learn more about the hallmarked thimbles of the

world's great porcelain houses

After the success of the 1980 Franklin Mint Porcelain Houses of the World set of thimbles Thimbles of the World's Greatest Porcelain Houses, this set of 50 thimbles, entitled The Hallmarked Thimbles of the World's Great Porcelain Houses was commissioned by the Thimble Collectors Club in 1985. The striking difference between this set and the earlier one, is that the thimble design is largely made up of the enlarged backstamp, registered mark or hallmark of the porcelain house being portrayed.


Obviously there are a few thimble houses that are duplicated from the first set, but this collection is more representative of the large range of firms making thimbles in the mid-1980s - a decade later most of them no longer produced thimbles or even existed. This list also reflects many of the thimble houses that formed part of the Thimble Collectors Club, who issued monthly thimbles to the members of their Club. As well as issuing monthly thimbles, the TCC also offered special sets for sale. This Hallmarked set is one of many offered.


Some of the thimbles have their backstamp repeated inside the thimble, for others there is sufficient identification with the outer maker's mark. Each thimble was accompanied by an explanatory leaflet. Where available I had added the relevant certificates where I have them.


If you collect a specific porcelain house, it would be most worthwhile to find and add the relevant thimble to your collection.


I have now located the original magazine advertisement, placed by Thimble Collectors Club, Chessington UK. It is undated. They describe the hallmark as the central motif, not hidden away on the back. The original price was 9.95 pounds each (plus postage) and thimbles would be received at a rate of two a month. There is an accompanying glass domed display case.


I have noticed some anomalies in this advert that was issued by the UK TCC. Only nine thimbles are illustrated. The final colour for the Kaiser issue is blue; in the advert the example shown is red. Royal Copenhagen and Noritake are listed but do not form part of the UK set of 50 but they are featured in the US set!! I understand that the US accompanying brochure is different from the UK version and there are big differences between the sets issued for the UK and US markets.


I have separated the 2 sets for easier reference. If you have photos of the missing US set thimbles ... please share!! And now by 2015, I find there are 55 for the list for the US-set - if anyone has this complete set, please let me know which one doesn't belong!!


It is 30 years since the UK set was issued, so it is difficult to know why the sets varied so much between the US and UK! Which was issued first? When was the US set released?


Just to add to the confusion, there are 5 thimbles that are featured in neither the US or UK brochures!! - Bouchet - Moschendorf - Parbus - Thun - Uhlenhorst. I know that the marketers of these sets did not expect thimble collectors to communicate as easily as we can in the 21st century - exposing anomalies!!


And now, in 2015, to add to the merriment of thimble collecting, there are different shapes appearing for some of the US set thimbles! Maybe the smaller manufacturers ran out of their usual blank shapes and substituted them with those they could lay their hands on? I have tried to use the most-known shape for those that were issued with more than one shape.





















brochures L is from UK - USA on R


Click on the following link to "Learn more about..."


The Hallmarked Thimbles of the World's Great Porcelain Houses

This listing of the Hallmarked set does not purport to be complete or accurate in all aspects.

Rather it invites comment and contribution to add to our knowledge of these highly desirable, collectable thimbles.

My thanks to the contributors.




Barbara | Linda Berkery | Betty Gerrits | Debby Hoover | Cathy Howgate | Willi Josten | Wanda Ralston | Jina Samulka | Norma Shattock | Jean Taylor

Sharon Underwood | Joanna Waciorski-Sew Many Bits | Ana Maria Werner & Hellmuth Leal | Mave Wiskin | krystyna Zagajewska








© Sue Gowan

July 2005






EMAIL thimbleselect@bigpond.com TO SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE.



| Krystyna Zagajewska | Krystyna

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