Sunday, May 18, 2014

Time Bandits

  I have tried in vain this week to find some new sites, but my leads have all been dead ends--either no cellar hole where there should have been a cellar hole, or posted land, or bad directions leading me to a lonely and injured and starved end somewhere deep in the forests of Mid-Coast Maine. Ultimately, I ended up back where I started, on yet another hunt at the downtown Camden cellar hole that has been so productive this Spring. It was pouring like a "bahstud", like a cow pissing on a flat rock, as my grandfather used to say, but Matt and I wrapped up our machines and hit it.
  We weren't out very long, but the finds were decent. (To be fair and honest, some of these items were from a hunt earlier in the week, and I just haven't gotten around to cataloging.). Almost immediately, Matt found an amazing hand carved brass printing plate emblazoned with an image of a man walking through the countryside, and bearing a date of 1913. I have yet to get a picture of this, but I will post it as soon as I do. Then the coins, starting with what appears to be a 1900 Indian Head penny. I ended up with a total of five wheaties, three Indians, a buffalo, a 1913 silver Barber dime, and a 1943 silver Washington quarter. There was also a funny little tin token of some sort, probably from an old game, that seems to have been skewered by some nails--maybe somebody nailed it to the winner. 
  I also found an assortment of clock and watch pieces, one of which bears an inscription reading "Bar Harbor", which someone, probably the watch maker, had etched onto a plate inside of a pocket watch, where I don't imagine anyone but him would have seen it. There was an interesting two-piece object that I think was some sort of time travelling device, which has an inscription that reads, "...The Century 1903", and the smaller piece turns within the larger when they are interlocked, causing the bearer to travel through time. There is an array of buttons, one of which has information on the rear that I have not yet taken a magnifying glass to. Maybe some of you can make it out in the pic. There is a cute little flattened child's ring with an image of a cow jumping over the moon, and a suspender buckle that bears the inscription "Depose, La Merveille Use". And yes, it's "Use" and not "USA", regardless of what your lying eyes might tell you.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Silver and Gold, Silver and Gold

  It was a busy week, but all my brief evening hunts added up to a nice little lot of booty. It started out with a visit to my favorite Camden cellar hole, where I found a fine copper 19th Century thimble, followed by the discovery of a matching child's thimble. This made me as happy as finding anything of obvious monetary value. Reuniting a mother and daughter possibly, 150 or 200 years after their earthly fires were extinguished. 
  The decorative copper Victorian jewelry piece with the woman's profile tossed around in my pocket for days and I would look at it intermittently, able to distinguish only vague intertwining vines and maybe some flower petals. It wasn't until this morning, when I cleaned it with a toothbrush, that the profile of a beautiful woman's face appeared before my eyes. I never cease to be impressed and amazed by that precious Victorian jewelry.
  Then the silver popped out into my palm! Hallelujah! Only my second piece of the year, and a gorgeous rare 1855 seated Liberty dime, a coin worth as much as 1000$ in very good condition. And this could only be topped by my first gold of the year! And honestly the first solid gold ring I have ever found. A big solid 10 karat gold vintage Elks Club ring inset with a purplish cut gem that I can only assume is an amethyst. I'll have to show it to Mr. Tim Whittier and get his opinion. I have to confess that the emotional surge I felt as I cleared the dirt away from that shining yellow metal was comparable to any I have experienced during those peak moments in I my life that are supposed to rank at the pinnacle of ecstatic joy. Exciting, indeed.
  Also, came up with a really battered, maybe beer battered, wheat penny and a fine clunky musket ball. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014


  I have started to work my way around the Camden cellar hole and the western yard has started to produce some coins. First, an 1888 Indian Head Penny. Then, a fine 1807 large cent! The first large copper of the year, and the second came just moments later and a few feet away. I can't make out a readable date on this one, but judging by the design on the rear, it probably dates from the mid 1800's.  The large "Success" button turned out to be a knob from an early nineteenth century oil lamp, made by the P.L. & B. company. I then found a nice large musket ball, also a first of the year, I think. A couple of little rusty steel buttons, some cool Victorian jewelry, one of which had a bright red "stone" that faded somewhat during cleaning, a great large brass button with a checkerboard pattern, and a tiny little belt buckle, probably from a Leprechaun. I find a lot of Leprechaun buckles.