Sunday, April 21, 2013

A good day in the woods

Hey everyone!  I went out today with my friend Lanny, aka CoinWhisperer.  The weather was beautiful for a walk through the woods!  The site we were detecting is in the area of an river old mill in central North Carolina, with settlement going back to the late 1700's.  Previous detection combined with a thick layer of iron targets in the ground made for difficult detecting conditions, but we still managed to eek out a few keepers.

CoinWhisperer must have worked his magic, because the first good find of the day turned out to be this "pocket-spill", a term detectorists use to describe a number of coins found together in one hole or in a very small area.  It consisted of three wheat pennies and two mercury dimes ranging from 1909 to 1928.  I was hoping for the more rare "VBD" variant of the 1909 wheat penny, but alas this is my second 1909 plain.  These coins were a bit more modern than what we were looking for, but I'll never turn down some silver from the ground!

The next cool find is probably one of my most unique discoveries ever!  It appears to be some sort of claw clutching an egg, and I believe it is likely the top for a cane or walking stick.  I have no idea how old it is, but I think it's a really neat recovery to say the least!  I'm quite happy to have found it.

My favorite find for the day, though, is this small broken piece of brass.  It may not look like much, but it's something I've never found before and always wanted to.  This broken piece came from a colonial era knee buckle or shoe buckle frame from the 1700's! 

It would have originally been a complete oval frame with a tongue and chape attached inside to close the buckle.  These buckles were viewed as decorative jewelry, and often support intricate designs such as the floral design shown here.  Below is a portrait by Ralph Earl from 1790 showing a man with both knee and shoe buckles clearly depicted.  I have always wanted to dig a colonial buckle - now I just need to find a complete example.  Maybe next time!

Last but not least, I finally got the video edited from the RRRHA Mine Run hunt.  Check it out, and I hope you enjoy!


  1. The claw clutching the egg may also be a "foot" to a table or chair. It was popular to have such decorations on furniture during that time period.

  2. Thanks!! I had thought of that. The reason I went with cane top was because the bottom of the egg portion (which would have contacted the floor if from a chair) is out at a 90 degree angle from the attachment piece. The examples similar to the ones you posted show the bottom of the ball in line with attachment point. This would have made for an awkward chair design, although still certainly possible. It's certainly unique though, whatever it is!