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Thimble ring


Of the 13 thimbles recovered from the Mary Rose, ten of them, including the one shown here, were ring-type, leaving the tip of the thumb exposed.

Made of copper alloy (although some lead ones were also recovered), this thimble was recovered from one of the gunner’s chests. Ring thimbles were mainly used in heavy-duty sewing, pushing needles through thick materials such as canvas. Our gunner may have been using his to make repairs to powder bags, vital if you didn’t want to leave trails of gunpowder through the ship. Most thimbles at the time were imported from overseas; this one is probably from Nuremberg.