Sunday, January 27, 2013

1/27/13 Old or New? Don't Assume. Gold Chalice. 1812 Battle

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold Chalice From Margarita Wreck Site
Photo from Mel Fisher Organization via email.
Beach detecting conditions remain poor on the Treasure Coast.  The surfing web sites are predicting a 1 - 2 foot surf today.  That will allow you to work the low tide or shallow water fairly easily.

Low tide will be a little after 2 PM.

Detectorists helped trace a War of 1812 battle near Fairlee, Maryland.  Mapping the distribution of lead shot helped tell the story of precisely where the British and Americans were when the battle took place.

This is a good detailed article you might want to read.  Here is a link.,0,7463090.story

A few days ago I mentioned the book Two Years on the Alabama.  More recently I noticed a few copies of about the same book selling for $150 and up on eBay.

Even though the rare and collectible book market is not what it once was, there are still some books that are worth a bit.

Here are a few recent miscellaneous junk finds that I've been wondering about.  They weren't found together.  Different sites and different times.  Penny for size comparison of course.

The thing at the top looks like something that I've seen before, but just can't put my finger on what it is.  It is broken.  Notice the "2" on it.  I suspect that some one will be able to easily identify that one.  Any help?

The glass sea shell - uhhhh, I won't say.   What do you think?

The brass thing is possibly the oldest of the group.  It has three tabs on top.  The rod coming down from the middle at the bottom has about three or four turns of heavily worn and almost smooth screw threading.  You might be able to see that in the photo.  Any ideas?  I suspect that one will be the most difficult to ID.

Sometimes you'll dig something on shipwreck beach and you might conclude that the object is modern simply because you didn't know that that type of thing was used long ago.  I've explained before that I used to immediately assume that any screws that I dug were modern, but screws have actually been around quite a long time.

I've dug a few thimbles on beaches over the years too.  I immediately assumed that they were modern and simply thought it was odd that somebody would be sewing on a beach.  The fact is that thimbles were very common hundreds of years ago and have been found on shipwrecks and other Spanish colonial sites in good numbers.  If you think about it, hand sewing was undoubtedly done a lot more in the old days than now.  It has been a long time since I've seen anyone use a thimble.  Yet I made the mistake of thinking that the thimbles that I dug were modern.  In retrospect that seems pretty stupid.

I've also dug bent spectacle frames.   I also assumed they were modern and they probably were, but they could have been quite old.  They have also been found at Spanish Colonial archaeological sites in Florida.

I once dug an enameled ring on a shipwreck beach that I assumed was modern until I learned better.  I thought enameling was a modern thing, but it also goes back hundreds of years.  Enameled items have been found on Spanish shipwrecks.

Those are just a few examples.  Don't make the mistakes that I did by assuming that things like that are modern.

Happy hunting,