This is a beautiful antique Ketcham and McDougall thimble from sterling silver.
At the beginning of the 18th century thimble-makers began shying away form functionality in interest of artistry and decoration.
Ketcham & McDougall specialized in the manufacture of beautiful yet useable thimbles, making them the perfect gift.
KMD thimbles have since become highly desirable among collectors in-the-know.
This beauty is a great example of the company's more elegant styles.
The narrow band of foliate scrolling that decorates the bottom rim of the thimble is called the Louis XV pattern.
KMD used the pattern to decorate some of their higher-end early thimbles.
A small band of smooth, undecorated sterling leads up to the top of the thimble which, as you can see, is covered in repeating dimples.
It is believed that the first thimbles were used in the 1st century A.D. in Pompeii.
By the mid 17th century thimbles were being widely manufactured in functional and fanciful forms.
Victorian schoolmistresses would often tap the heads of unruly children with a thimble finger while "ladies of ill-repute" would announce their presence at bawdy-houses by wearing a thimble and tapping on the glass windows, thus gaining them the nickname "thimble-knockers".
This thimble exhibits several maker's marks both inside and out. A small style number on the exterior of the thimble near the base reads "10".
You will find the traditional Ketcham & McDougall hallmark stamped on the interior of the thimble; it reads "K&McD".
A smaller mark below this one reads "Sterling".
The thimble has been professionally tested to ensure the purity of the silver.
The inside and outside of the thimble show some expected wear and oxidization, as well as some surface scratching.
Overall, this collectible thimble remains in good antique condition.
Measurements: Thimble is 7/8" tall, 9/16" wide (at top) and 11/16" in diameter at base (Approximately a ring size 7)