Tcg Swann Thimbles Needle & Thread / Lord's Prayer Sterling Silver Thimble, 1989
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Tcg Swann Thimbles Needle & Thread / Lord's Prayer Sterling Silver Thimble, 1989:
TCG Swann Thimbles Needle & Thread / Lord's
Prayer Sterling Silver Thimble, 1989
SEE ADDITIONAL PICTURES BELOW
Sterling silver thimble with chased daisy top, textured body and applied needle and thread motif. The thread is the full text of the Lord's Prayer in tiny lettering. Made for the Thimble Collectors' Guild by Frank Jones of Swann Thimbles, formerly of 31 Hylton Street, Birmingham. Clear hallmarks in the plain band above the rim: TCG in a thimble shaped punch (Frank Jones' usual S(T) mark is not present), the Birmingham Assay Office anchor mark; the lion passant for sterling silver and the date letter script "P" for 1989. In excellent condition - in round and free of holes, dents, damage and repairs. Height approx. 2 cm; internal base diameter approx. 1.6 cm; weight 5.8 grams.
JAMES SWANN & SON (1887-2005),
SWANN THIMBLES (1986-2002)
James Swann was born in 1837 - the year Queen Victoria acceded to the throne and also the same year Charles Horner was born. He worked for the James Fenton company of 74 Great Hampton Street, Birmingham before founding his own the thimble making company in 1887 at the age of 50. Based initially at 59 Branston Street he later moved to 25 Hylton Street in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham. The name of the company changed to James Swann & Son in 1922 after James Swann's death when it was taken over by his second son Samuel Henry Swann. Samuel died in 1943 and the company was run by his daughter Margaret Ethel. In 1957 the business was sold to a relative called Stanley Gardner Powell although Margaret continued as managing director until 1967.
Two young silversmiths who had trained and worked at James Swann & Son - Ray Coggle and Frank Jones - took the business over in 1970 and ran it jointly until 1986. Because of declining business in the 1980s the two partners decided to go their separate ways. Ray Coggle continued to run James Swann & Son from the Birmingham premises at 25 Hylton Street though moved to 61 Smith Street, Warwick in 1993. He retired in 2005 and the James Swann & Son company ceased trading.
Frank Jones set up the 'offspring' thimble making company "Swann Thimbles" in 1986 and had premises first on Vyse Street, Birmingham and later at 31 Hylton Street - just 3 doors away from the James Swann & Son premises where he had been both an apprentice and later a co-director. Frank's silver thimble making company closed in 2002. This was the end of an era really. There are now no major thimble makers in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham.
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