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Collectibles--General (Modern)/Arta and Steinböck Thimbles


Dear Wynneth

Many thanks for your help in advance, you are a great expert in thimbles. I'm a Spanish thimble collector, and I love Austrian Arta & Steinböck Thimbles, they are enameled copper. But I don't know anything about their history.

Do you know the history about Arta & Steinböck factory? Or do you know somebody who can help me?

Best regards


Dear Marta,  Thank you for your questions.  I too love the Austrian Arta & Steinbock Thimbles.  Over the years I have found very little information about them but I will share what I have with you.

Steinbock: Update from a Steinbock Family Member & More Information on Arta, Brimmer & Frey Wille
One of my most popular posts was on Austria’s Steinbock Enamelware.  I’ve received email upon email from people who have various pieces and either wanted to know more about them or wanted to sell what they have. However, recently I received a different kind of email.  It was from a member of the Steinbock family who wanted to fill me in on a bit more of the history of the company:
Enamel Studio Steinböck was founded in the early 50′s by the students Hannes (John) & Haimo Steinböck, two brothers from Carinthia (southernmost Austrian state), who both joined the Academy of Art in Vienna, Austria. Nothing like this existed before that time so they became self-made-men.  They produced various articles like jewelry, trays, vases, shop portals, artwork for churches and other special orders. Vienna’s famous artists (like Fuchs, Staudacher…) met there also and experimented with this material.
The Studio was known all over the world and was also a secret tip in tourist guides. Until the 80′s (with emerging terrorism and fear to travel), they had about one hundred employees who painted each piece by hand. Later there were only 20 with all the family members. The production switched to handprint combined with hand painting. But as always metals, enamels and 24 carat gold (printed and plated) were used.
A former employee and kind of trainee was Michaela Frey, who later founded famous “Frey & Wille.”  Other copies were “Arta” and very shortly “Brimmer.”
Because of the retirement of the two seniors “Studio Steinböck” was run for 2 years by their sons, Michael & Peter Steinböck but then sold.
The factory finally crashed after more than 45 year of successful existence in 1993 and closed for ever.  In my previous post, I spoke of a box that was made by “Arta” which now I know for sure was indeed influenced by Steinbock.

I do hope this helps.


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Wynneth Mullins


I am a digitabulist - a thimble collector. I have been collecting thimbles since 1976 and have my own newsletter called Thimble Guild. I started a local thimble collectors group, Thimbles Are Us, in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area in 1985. I was Second Vice-President of Thimble Collectors International from 1988 - 1992. I have been a guest speaker on thimbles at local collectors groups, womens groups and churches. I am knowledgable about sterling and gold thimbles made in the US as well as England, Germany, France, Russia, Norway and a few other countries. I am familiar with manufacturer`s marks and codes, assay marks and date marks and other unique marks meaningful to any thimble collector. I am knowledgeable of porcelain, china, brass, pewter, bronze, aluminum, plastic, silver plated, coin and base metal thimble marks. Some questions I might be asked...what makes a thimble valuable (scarce maker, desirable pattern, commemorative, etc.)...where can I find more information on thimbles... are there collectors groups out there a newsletter for collectors...what books are available on the subject? I am very happy to share my knowledge with anyone but will not make appraisals. To do that, you must be able to look at the thimble in person. I have a friend that has a saying, A knowledgable collector is a wise collector. She is a wise collector. In 1992, at the TCI Convention in San Diego, CA, I was given the highest honor in the thimble collecting community. It is called the Myrtle Lundquist Award. It reads, Lundquist Award - Compassion - Caring - Sharing - Awarded to Wynneth Mullins 1992. This award gives me a lot to live up to!

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