Rare sterling silver girl's name thimble designed by Bent & Parker Ltd of Birmingham. Plain knurled top over a reeded border with chased leaves and wriggle work decoration. The name POLLY was applied using individual letters. Hallmarked in the border: B&P for Bent & Parker, the lion passant for sterling silver, the date letter Old English lower case "i" for 1883 and the Birmingham Assay Office anchor mark. The thimble is also stamped with Provisional Patent Number P.P. 14988.
Although the thimble is free of holes it isn't round at the opening, has some wear from use, one or two minor needle dings and some shallow denting to the body and crown making the thimble look a little out of shape. Height approx. 2.6 cm; base diameter approx 1.7 cm; weight 3.5 grams.
Bent & Parker Ltd formerly of Harpers Hill Works, Northwood Street and Warstone Lane Birmingham were brass founders who made whistles, belt buckles, buttons, badges and bracelets. It is likely that the girls' names silver thimbles were made for them by one of the Birmingham thimble makers.
Silversmiths and thimble makers Lionel Spiers and James Fenton made girls' name thimbles. I wonder if Bent & Parker were also trying to capture a share of this novelty market. As the letters are applied individually just about any reasonably short girl's name could be applied to a thimble blank. Maybe they were made to order? Whatever the strategy I don't think it was terribly successful. Not many of these thimbles are found today.
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Rare Bent & Parker Sterling Silver 'polly' Thimble, Pp No 14988, Birmingham 1883: $83