Friday, June 15, 2012

6/15/12 Report - Bronze Strap and Ring Identified & And Key to Good Finds

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Good news!  The readers of this blog came through again.   The amount of knowledge displayed by my readers is really impressive. 

You might not know who reads this blog, but you might be surprised.  It is not at all how the archaeologists or media tend to characterize detectorists.  When you see a detectorist on TV, he usually is portrayed comically.   Nothing wrong with that other than the image being inaccurate and  misleading.  You can tell from those fleeting images that the media don't know much about detecting or detectorists.  For one thing, the guy is usually swinging his detector a foot or so in the air like he is swatting flies.  That might not be ignorance on he part of the media so much as the fact that if you are showing a detectorist in the background, you might not notice what he is doing if he actually does it correctly.  Artistic license, I guess.

Anyhow, the reality of the detecting community is far different than how it is portrayed.  The readers of this blog who I hear from include physicians, attorneys, architects, historians, authors and all kinds of intelligent informed people.

Yeterday I posted an object with the hope of getting some information about it.  Well, in less than 24 hours from the time the object was posted,  I heard from two people who have worked in the boating industry and knew exactly what the object is.

Bronze Strap & Ring.  See 6/14 Post For Larger Photo
Here is part of the email I received from John L.

The bronze (definitely not brass) strap, (not cleat) and ring in today's post is a product of the Wilcox Crittenden company. That is undoubtedly their logo.

Here is a link to a modern cleat made by them currently listed on Ebay in which you can clearly see the same logo.

Here is a link detailing the history of the company, originally established in 1847, which became Wilcox Crittenden in 1869.

Thus, the item could be as old as 140+years old.

Thanks John!

Then I received an email from Eric L. with the following information.

The makers mark is a Wilcox Crittenden mark. It should be cast bronze. This company made hardware for the marine industry from the 1800's to modern day. I worked as a shipwright for many years and their stuff is on everything from dingies to commercial vessels...

This could have been a ring for a tie down point or possibly attaching a small snatch block. Their old hardware catalogs can still be found with a little searching online.

Thanks Eric!

As I mentioned a few days ago, these are the types of stories I really like.   It started with the research that James F. conducted that led him to this find, but the research wasn't over when he dug up the object.  Then there was the research to identify the find, and I don't doubt that there will be more finds and more to learn.

If you are tired of hunting the same old over-hunted places and want to find some interesting old things, take a few tips from James F. whose research led him to this find.  This wasn't something that James just happened to run into.  His research led him to believe that he might find old steamboat related objects at the location.

James said, I always find it strange I never see anyone else with a metal detector where I hunt...    I always do a little research before targeting an area to hunt...

He does a lot of library research with what he calls "real" books.  He says it only took him about 30 minutes in the library to find another promising 19th century site to hunt.

You might want to try the library too. 

No change in beach detecting conditions.   I won't bother to comment more on that today.

Happy hunting,