More about Thimbles


Most thimble collectors will not be familiar with the names Magdalena and William Isbister.


William, a retired Professor of Surgery, and his wife Magdalena, have been collecting thimbles since the 1970s.  William worked in hospitals in a number of countries and while there was able to visit the local antiques shops and was able to meet Nerylla Taunton while in Australia.  William’s and Magdalena’s interest in these small objects led them into research.  They questioned statements in published work, talked with experienced collectors, visited museums, libraries and contacted family descendants of the people they were writing about.  Their research has been in-depth and meticulous.  They continued where the late Edwin Holmes left off.

Mr Holmes in his second book ‘A History of Thimbles’ says it is easy to make errors and puts his hands up to say that this happened in his first book ‘Thimbles’.  He also denies that his book is the’ definitive’ work as has been suggested.  Mr Holmes believed that there was a lot more to be found out about thimbles and I believe that the Isbisters have done this in their research, following in his footsteps concentrating on areas not covered in detail, by Mr Holmes, but also including completely new research.  They too believe that there is still more to be found out.

The papers on this web site have been presented with informative text and good photos in a way that is straight forward to understand, giving collectors new information which as well as being interesting will enhance their knowledge and enjoyment of thimble collecting.

I recommend that having found this site you read, learn and enjoy.

Norma Spicer

Researched and published in 2002/11

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Magdalena and William Isbister, Moosbach, Germany