Question: I have accumulated a large collection of sewing items, such as pin cushions, dating back to the turn of the century, and even some buttonhole cutters that undoubtedly are more than 100 years old. Can such a collection have much value?--S.H.
Answer: Dealer catalogues show that sewing collectibles, such as 19th-Century buttonhole cutters, tape measures, spool boxes and pin cushions, carry individual price tags of $60 and up. So they obviously have significant value.
Many 19th-Century sewing items were made of wood. But elegant silver sewing tools also were popular at that time and are highly collectible.
A related item that is enormously popular is the thimble.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of thimble collectors worldwide, along with thimble clubs and newsletters.
Since Victorian times, thimbles have been produced from a variety of materials, including gold, silver, steel, brass, ivory and leather. In mint condition, it's not unusual to see them change hands for $50 and up.