RUSSIAN THIMBLES

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Thumb thimbles of Golden Horde of XIII-XIV centuries

V.N.Kleshchinov (Moscow)

Dirham In the beginning of 2006 I received drawings of a group of objects of household use found in a woman’s burial site at Prikamye, near city of Perm. Among found objects was a copper thimble. Besides that, there were silver jewelry (a pendant with a stone, earrings, rings, etc.), silver mirror, set of copper tools for personal hygiene and the most importantly a coin, dirham of Abdallah (AH 763-770 / 1361-1369 AD) minted at Azak in AH 765 (1363-64 AD) (Pl 1). Examination of the age of the jewelry as well as the date of the coin allowed to date the burial site as of XIV century, not earlier than 1363-64 AD. Also, it can’t be ruled out that an older coin was buried with some later items in the beginning of XV century.
Thimble The abovementioned thimble is in very good condition (it was not used for its intended purpose) has a typical shape and has not been described in any literature known to us (Pl 2). It is 30 mm high, of conical shape, small opening at the top, and a soldering seam along its whole surface. The working surface consists of parallel rows of hand made indentations of 11-12 in a raw. The thimble was made by cutting a sheet of copper of needed size. Indentations were chased to that flat sheet of copper, than it was turned into a cone and soldered along the seam with lead or tin. Besides that, the top end was slightly bent, but still leaving an opening. As far as decorations are concerned, a rim on a bottom, below the rows of indentations and two rims on the top outside of working surface were implemented.
In our collection we have few more thimbles of similar shape and made in the same technique. One of them was Thimble found in the region of city of Astrakhan in XIII century dated layers (Pl3). That thimble is of very good quality is made of the copper sheet slightly thinner than the one in question, but the seam had became unattached. Three more of the similar thimbles are coming from Taman peninsula (Krasnodar region) and are accidental finds. The region of the find of one more thimble is unknown. Two of the abovementioned thimbles were slightly different from the rest by shorter size and more cylindrical shape.
Therefore, based on the analyses of buried items, presence of the coin of the khan of Golden Horde and considering locations of finds of similar thimbles, we can with certainty attribute those thimbles to be manufactured in XIII-XIV centuries at Golden Horde.

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