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Rare ancient thimble found in Ribble Valley
11:20am Thursday 19th December 2013 in News
A RARE ancient silver thimble has been discovered in the Ribble Valley.
The piece of treasure was unearthed in June by 33-year-old Dan Wrathall, and is thought to date back to around 1577.
Yesterday at a Treasure Trove inquest Mr Wrathall, who works as a quality controller at Hanson Cement, told how he was metal-detecting on his father John Wrathall’s farm in West Bradford when he found the thimble.
It is described as a ‘post-medieval elongated silver thimble’ and is thought to date back to between 1520 and 1620, but a very similar item in the Metropolitan Museum of Art is thought to have been made in 1577.
The silver thimble, which measures 30mm long by 18mm wide and weighs 4.46g, is indentented with square hand-punched marks, and is decorated with a flower motif - possibly a rose.
It also has a band around the outside, is stamped with a maker’s mark, and is thought to have been made in Nuremberg in Germany.
The inquest at Ribble Valley coroner’s court heard that because the thimble was more than 300-years-old and more than 10 per cent of it was made up of precious metals it was being declared treasure, and would be retained by the Crown if it was significant.
The thimble was described as a ‘potentially important find’, because there are only four in existence that are known to the British Museum, and as such it would most likely be kept by the Crown.
Mr Wrathall was told that he would be compensated for his find if the thimble was kept by the museum, as would his father who owned the land.
Speaking after the inquest he said: “I didn’t know what it was until I found out a bit more about it. I don’t think it will have much value, but it was nice to find it and for it to go into a museum.”
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