In that lovely shoebox is small notes from the collector that owned them. This note is titled “Thimble Lore”. Below is a photo of this note. Which states “Proper etiquette did not permit a young swain to give his lady love too personal a gift, in days of yore. The thimble became a love token. An everyday tool of necessity it bridged this rule of etiquette. Decorated with angelts, cherubs, initials, jewels and sayings of love such as “Forget Me Not”, “Love, Always Faithful”, and “Forever Yours”. Fancy needlework was a sign of a woman of culture and status. Artists painted lovers but often the young lady was sewing. “Hands Off” was the rule in those days, and artists depicted love through the eyes of their subjects.”
While this note is fun there in many cultures throughout history, thimbles have been used as love tokens and gifts between sweethearts. The small size and practical nature of thimbles made them an appropriate gift that could be easily exchanged without breaking the rules of etiquette.
Decorating thimbles with romantic imagery and messages became popular during the Victorian era, as the practice of exchanging sentimental gifts between lovers became more popular. Thimbles adorned with angel and cherub designs, as well as romantic phrases and imagery, became highly prized possessions among women of culture and status.
Artists of the time also depicted love and romance through the eyes of their subjects, often showing young women sewing with thimbles as a sign of their skill and refinement. Thimbles became a symbol of both practicality and sentimentality, representing the love and care that went into creating handmade garments and the affection that existed between the giver and the recipient of a thimble as a love token.