Thimble – Vintage Silver James Swann and Sons Thimble


A gorgeous, floral James Swann and Son thimble, in nice condition.

The condition is good, there are some light surface scratches which is to be expected. The thimble is ever so slightly mishapen, but not too much and there are no pin holes. The thimble is adorned with floral engravings and a double band at the rim.

The hallmarks show this was stamped at the Birmingham assay office, the date stamp shows 1979. James Swann and Son were based out of Hylton Street, Birmingham, England. The size stamp shows 3.

James Swann was born in 1837 – the year Queen Victoria acceded to the throne. He founded the thimble making company in 1887 at 59 Branston Street and later moved to 25 Hylton Street in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham.

The company name changed to James Swann & Son in 1922 after James’ death, it was taken over by his second son, Samuel Henry Swann. Samuel died in 1943, the company was run by his daughter Margaret Ethel.

In 1957 the business was sold to a relative called Stanley Gardner Powell although Margaret remained 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 the 70’s and ran it together until 1986. Due to declining business in the 1980s the partners decided to go their separate ways.

Ray Coggle continued to run James Swann & Son from the Birmingham premises at 25 Hylton Street but moved to 61 Smith Street, Warwick in 1993.

He announced his retirement early in 2005 so it is highly likely that name of James Swann will cease to be applied to new thimbles.

A great addition to any thimble collection, this would make a great gift for any occasion.

1 in stock


Vintage Silver James Swann and Sons Thimble.

2.1 CM / 0.83 Inch High

1.8 CM / 0.72 Inch Diameter at the widest point.

3.77 Grams / 0.133 Oz

This is a preloved item and as such will have signs of use and wear.


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