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My Identity engraved


I have a small, thimble-shaped silver box that I found with my
grandmother’s things. It has a tiny arrow pointing to to the
direction to unscrew it so that the little bump locking it closed
can travel down a small groove and then the top pulls off of the
bottom and it opens up. In script on the side of it the words “My
Identity” are engraved. It has a little silver loop on top and it
was hanging by a short piece of blue embroidery thread.

Anyone know what this is??

Bethany Ericson
Cambridge, MA

I rather suspect that it is a thimble case. See if you can find one
to fit in it.

I have no idea on the engraving, but these usually came in sets with
matching scissors and the like, so the other components of the set
might have had more clues.

who knows waaay too much about cute sewing widgets.

This is an educated guess –

Since it is thimble shaped, it may well be a thimble holder. Other
things that could be in this shape are a vinaigrette (for holding
smelling salts) or a seal holder. In the late 19th and early 20th
century items such as this would be suspended from a chatelaine that
was pinned to a woman’s skirt or dress at the waist. Even at a
later time a seamstress might find it handy to wear her thimble by
pinning it to her clothing.

You might want to take your little box to F. B. Hubley Auctioneers,
364 Broadway, Cambridge, MA. Also, Karin Phillips may still have a
shop on Broadway a few doors down (toward Prospect St.) from
Hubley’s. Karin is very knowedgeable about objects like this.
Another place where you might get help with identification is
Marika’s Antiques 130 Charles St. in Boston or at one of the other
antiques dealers on that street.

Good luck!

Dale Molloy
Plum Blossom Antiques & Jewelry
Fall River, MA

It was probably part of a chatelaine’s set (ornate assorted sterling
pieces hanging off multi-chains used by the chatelaine running the
house) and is a thimble holder. As for the “my identity”; they
often engraved odd expressions and it may or may not have to do with
the thimble being such an integral part of their embroidery work.
(i.e., monograms, etc.) If you look at the piece carefully, you
should find hall marks which will date the piece and identify the
metal used - - unless it is very old in which case it could be coin
silver which can often be unmarked.