A rare Meissen Thimble Case, circa 1750

This most attractive thimble case represents an extremely rare product of the Meissen manufactory. Every part of the exterior of the bombé form is painted in exquisite detail with the tiniest bouquets and sprigs of deutsche Blumen. The mounts, almost certainly gold, are engraved with a flower at the clasp and foliate scrolls. Integral with the mount, the interior is fitted to take a thimble.


Condition: The condition is excellent with no damage or restoration, just a minute imperfection to the glaze on the cover, mostly concealed by the mount. The hinge and clasp work beautifully.

Dimensions: Height 3 cm; Width (across the mounts) 3 cm

Throughout Europe during the 18th century, needlework was considered an essential part of the aristocratic and royal lifestyle, and although Meissen thimbles from this period are known and much admired, it is extremely rare to find a Meissen case of this size, fitted to hold a thimble. A small moulded Meissen box, c.1760, with mounts engraved with the same flower clasp and foliate scrolls, marked for imported gold, is in the Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (Accession Number: 1982.60.351). This box is described as ‘possibly a thimble case‘, so it is unlikely to have been fitted to take a thimble. Similarly, another small box without the fitted interior, described as either a thimble case or patch box, was in the Helmut Joseph Collection of Important Snuff Boxes (Bonhams, London, 5 July 2011, lot 22).

The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1984).

Eighteenth Century Gold Boxes of Europe, A. Kenneth Snowman (Antique Collectors’ Club, 1990).