A sheet-metal Nuremberg thimble of the mid to late 16th century. Hand-punched indentations on the top half and crown, and a decorative lower half with a band of small medallions between patterned borders.

Surprisingly modern in their appearance, these Nuremberg thimbles are the result of developments in both metallurgy and the manufacturing process. The first of these was the discovery of a much improved composition for the brass. It resulted in a metal that was not only much easier to cast and work, but which also had a gold-like appearance. The second development was the fabrication of the thimbles from pre-decorated sheet brass, as opposed to the traditional methods of manufacture, casting or forming in a mould.