Saturday, April 5, 2014

4/5/14 Report - Barber Dime, Small Gold Ring, $40 Million Chicken Cup, Wood Butter Bowl & Multi- Million Dollar Chicken Cup

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

As you know the beaches haven't been great lately, but like I said yesterday, things are still being found. 

William M. has been off-beach and making a lot of very nice finds.  Here is one.

Photos by William M.
1907 O Dime Found by William M.

Good detail.  Nice condition.   Obviously circulated, but while that might reduce the price, the smoothing from handling makes it all the more charming to me.

Here is a good table of Barber dime values.

It isn't nearly as old as some of the shipwreck cobs you might find, but it as valuable as some cobs.

Way to go William!

When the beach conditions are poor I often revert to hunting modern items.   That hasn't been too good on Treasure Coast beaches lately either, but when beach conditions are poor water hunting can be fairly easy even though the spots that aren't buried in sand can be hard to find.

Here is a very small 10K ring that was found yesterday.  It must be a child's ring. 

It is only 1 gram of 10K gold.  Gold rings that small are often missed by many detectorists, especially if they are using too much too discrimination, and it doesn't take much to be too much.

I like the nice delicate design.  As I've said before, I like finding the small items.  If you are finding the smalls, your detector settings and technique is probably pretty good.

The ring has a little sand encrusted in some of the depressions yet.

I ran across a web site the other day that I wish I could find again.  A fellow was showing a collection of old items that had been repaired long ago.  The repairs were old repairs and it was fascinating to see the old techniques of repairing things.   These days most things just get thrown away instead of being repaired.

If anyone knows the web site I'm talking about or a familiar one please let me know.

For example, they had a copper kettle and showed how it was repaired.

Below is an old wood butter dish.  I would say it is 19th century.  I really like it even though it is needs a lot of help.  In the picture it is sitting on an old sewing cabinet.

Old Wood Butter Bowl.
 Notice the cracks.  It has some gunk on it that needs cleaned off.

Below is a close-up of an old repair that was made to the bowl.

They drilled a hole on each side of the crack and threaded a wire through the hole and twisted it tight.  That was evidently done a long time ago.

Close-up View of Wire Repair on Cracked Wood Butter Bowl

When I grew up most of the local families out in farm country still had a butter churn even if they didn't use it anymore. 

I don't doubt that this bowl was actually used for making butter.

The fact that it was heavily used and repaired makes it all the more charming to me. 

You can see how it was worn by much handling over the years - more interesting to me than an unused mint item.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is a "chicken cup" being sold by Sothebys that was made in China just before 1500 AD that is expected to sell for tens of  millions of dollars.

The reason I mention the "chicken cup" is that people sometimes find shards on the Treasure Coast, including occasionally some Kang-Xsi porcelain which was carried on the 1715 Fleet.  You therefore might want to know something about how to identify items like that.   It can be difficult to identify shards, but there are some easy-to-identify features of fine Chinese porcelain.

Fine Chinese Porcelain "Chicken Cup"
There are only four authentic "chicken cups" known to exist and that is one reason they are worth millions of dollars.   There are many fakes.

When I saw the picture of this "chicken cup" I could immediately see many of the features that are common to fine antique Chinese porcelain including Kang-Xsi. 

If you study examples like this you will be better able to identify them if you see them on the beach.

Most of the pieces of Kang Xsi you might find will be blue and white.  Pieces with additional colors can be more valuable. 

Notice the shade of blue.  That is typical.  So are the flowing hand-painted lines.  They have a distinctive look.  Also, porcelain like this will be very thin and delicate looking and very white. 

With a little practice you can learn to identify pieces like this pretty well.  

Inexpensive 19th century pottery  is typically much thicker, of courser grain and if broken is yellowish or beige instead of white on the broken edges.

I'm definitely not an expert on this and might not be using the correct terms but from observation have learned how to tell the difference between common colonial ceramics and Chinese porcelain.

I did a few posts on beach dynamics.  I received some correspondence on that, but I don't know how helpful it was to you all.   To me it is very important knowledge and helps me to quickly tune into the hot spots on a beach.  It isn't easy to explain, but it is very important.

I also hope you appreciate the bibliography on Spanish colonial America that I posted.  That to me is very valuable.

On the Treasure Coast the winds will be mixed today.   The surf will be up around three or four feet this weekend, diminishing next week.

Happy hunting,