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Thread: Gold pocketwatch family reunion 100+ years later

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  1. #1
    us
    Colonial relic hound

    Jun 2015
    South Carolina
    Minelab CTX3030
    1,687
    2366 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Gold pocketwatch family reunion 100+ years later

    I recently took a two-week vacation with my wife and stepson to England to visit with my in-laws (my wife is British). My father-in-law is a retired vicar (priest in the Anglican church); he retired a little over a year ago as vicar of a very old church in a tiny village in Norfolk County. My in-laws are good friends with the owners of a huge "hall", which is basically a large mansion on an estate, that was built in the early 1600's. I received permission from the owners to metal detect on the grounds of the estate.

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    One day as I was detecting not far from the main entrance to the hall I got a really good signal about 8 inches deep. When I uncovered part of the target I saw a round gold object with roman numerals around a dial and I instantly knew that it was a gold pocket watch!

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    It's an 18 carat gold Dent pocket watch with an elaborate monogram on the back side. The case is in superb condition. Dent actually built the clock mechanism inside of Big Ben, and was the official clock/watch maker to the queen.

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    After cleaning the watch I took it to the owners of the estate. They took one look at the monogram and immediately recognized it as a family monogram, so it belonged to one of their ancestors. After hearing this I said, "Then it's yours." They were both astounded by the fact that I found it and very grateful to me for giving the watch to them. To me it was a no-brainer; there was no way that I would have kept a family heirloom, and besides they were very generous to let me detect on their property. It really made me feel good to return the watch to the family, where it belongs. After returning to the US I did a lot of research & found out that the watch if restored would be worth several thousand dollars. Even so I have no regrets and would have done exactly the same thing if I had known this at the time.

    The case was made by James Weir of Glasgow, Scotland. His company made watch cases from 1891 to the 1920's, so that pins down the age of the watch to those years.

  2. #2
    ca
    "Nova Scotia is a metal detecting paradise"

    Feb 2014
    Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia
    Fisher F75 Ltd SE 2 & Fisher F2 with 11"DD
    2,699
    3946 times
    Metal Detecting
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    Thats a awesome find and even better return! Good job!
    DownNDirty and thrifty76now like this.

  3. #3
    us
    Sep 2012
    Upstate New York
    Garrett AT Pro Minelab eTrac Minelab Excalibur 8" Makro Racer
    712
    698 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Wow and Wow...Great job! Better yet, please post some of your other finds. Just looking at that manor makes me drool for a detector.

    aj
    DownNDirty and thrifty76now like this.
    Target must be in the ground...Coil must swing over target...User must dig.


    Gold for the money...silver for the pleasure...copper for the history.

  4. #4
    us
    Colonial relic hound

    Jun 2015
    South Carolina
    Minelab CTX3030
    1,687
    2366 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    I will be posting them soon-the coppers have been soaking in mineral oil. Based on what I found I don't think the property has ever been detected.
    thrifty76now likes this.

  5. #5
    us
    Oct 2010
    The Garden State
    Minelab Explorer SE Pro & CTX-3030
    3,545
    2000 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (2)
    Great photos and even better story. What a stand-up thing to do in returning it to the family from whence it came! One of the great return stories on this site and definitely deserves an Honorable Mention!

  6. #6
    us
    Silver Coin Fiend

    Apr 2014
    Charlotte
    XP Deus 9" & 11" Coils, AT Pro, ProPointer AT, Lesche 75, 80LT & 55.
    7,787
    10433 times
    Digging In Strangers Front Yards
    WOW... That is a stunning find!

    When you told me you found a pocket watch, I had no idea it would be that sweet. That is one awesome find! I think that was a really class act move to return it to the family.

    I would have been torn between greed and doing the right thing... it would have been an epic battle between right and right now!

    Is this a banner find? It's 18K and 100 years old... and that monogram is killer, as well as identifies the long lost owner. Let's see what the other TNet members think. It would look nice up top...

    Congrats on a really nice find, as well as kudos for the return.
    DownNDirty and thrifty76now like this.

  7. #7
    us
    Feb 2008
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Whites, MXT.
    7,417
    3062 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Wow , Great find/return that should continue your access to that property for years to come ! Did you recover any silver coins
    on this property ?

    ( Yes - Banner ! )
    Last edited by Argentium; Jul 28, 2015 at 11:58 AM.
    DownNDirty and thrifty76now like this.

  8. #8
    us
    Oct 2010
    The Garden State
    Minelab Explorer SE Pro & CTX-3030
    3,545
    2000 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (2)
    I was so caught up in the pics and return story, but yes, definitely a Banner Find as well! I cast my vote for Banner and Honorable Mention!
    Last edited by Erik in NJ; Jul 28, 2015 at 11:40 AM.

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    CANE FIELD BANDITS and IRON BRIGADE MEMBER

    Jun 2006
    Moonlight and Magnolias
    Fisher F75, Whites DualField PI, Fisher 1266-X and Tesoro Silver µMax
    16,655
    4783 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (6)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    I think this is a banner find. Great photos, and the watch was given back to the descendants. This needs to be on the banner for those reasons:

    High Value and made of solid gold
    Great photos and story
    Returned to the family

    Congrats on such a great find, and having an awesome story to tell--and most importantly for doing the right thing!

    Best Wishes,

    Buck
    2017 CaneField Bandits Totals:
    George Washington Inaugural Button GWI-17B
    Eagle "V" Voltigeurs Cuff Button
    1790s French Marine Artillery Button
    Federal Era Gold Ring with stone
    1830s Navy Button
    c.1812 regt Artillery button
    Three 1782's, 1786, 1798, 1806, Two 1807's, 1808, 1814 and Three Dateless Half Reales
    1835 Capped Bust Half Dime
    Three 1839-O's, Two 1840-O's, 1841, 1841-O, 1842-O, 1851-O, 1854-O, and 1858-O Half Dimes
    1842-O Seated Dime
    1893 Barber Dime
    1856-O Seated Quarter
    Dateless Standing Liberty Quarter
    1945 Silver Washington Quarter
    Counterfeit 8 Reales
    Two 1944 Philippines Occupation Silver Coins
    1943-P, two 1944-P, and two 1945-P Silver Nickels
    Henry Clay Campaign Button (1844)
    Complete antebellum spur
    Plantation Store Token
    FIVE GOOOOLD RINGS


    OUR 2016 YEAR-END POST:
    http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/20...ml#post5286759
    OUR 2015 YEAR-END POST:
    http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/to...what-year.html
    OUR 2014 YEAR-END POST:
    http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/to...lots-pics.html
    OUR 2013 YEAR-END POST:
    http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/to...-end-post.html
    OUR 2012 YEAR END POST:
    http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/20...ml#post3120940


    Any relics, coins, or other items appearing in my signatures were found on PRIVATE PROPERTY with total consent and permission from the owners of said property.

  10. #10
    us
    Tony

    May 2013
    City of Rensselaer (upstate NY)
    Minelab explorer SE -Sovereign-GT- Whites 6000 Di pro SL-Specturm XLT.
    7,315
    5008 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Awesome find....
    DownNDirty and thrifty76now like this.

  11. #11
    us
    Detector Collector

    May 2015
    Madison, MS
    Fisher F75SE, F44, F2 and CZ-20. Minelab E-TRAC and Go-Find 60. Tesoro Tejon. BH Quick Silver.
    2,516
    2221 times
    I mainly coin shoot, but I also enjoy relic hunting and shallow ocean hunting.
    Congrats on getting to hunt that property! Congrats on the watch! Props for turning the watch over to the owners...way to shine a positive light on the hobby. I can't wait to see the rest of your finds!!!
    DownNDirty and thrifty76now like this.
    2016
    Clad - 2 dollars, 274 quarters, 282 dimes, 115 nickels, 787 pennies, 1 foreign
    Older - 1 Barber Half, 1 Walker, 1 Franklin, 1 Seated Qtr, 1 Barber Qtr, 5 Washington, 4 Barber Dimes, 12 Mercs, 13 Rosies
    1 CB Half Dime, 1 Shield, 3 Vs, 8 Buffalos, 4 War Nickels, 10 IHPs, 137 Wheats, 1803 Half Real
    Relics - 1 3-Ringer, 1 Round Ball, Silver fork, 3 pocket knives, Gem Micromatic razor, small compact, Silver bib clip, Silver brush, skeleton key
    Jewelry - 2 Gold rings, 2 Silver rings, Silver bracelet, Silver earring, 3 Silver charms, lady's watch


    Fisher F75SE, F44, F2 and CZ-20. Minelab E-TRAC and Go-Find 60. Tesoro Tejon. BH Quick Silver.

    Captain Caveman

  12. #12
    us
    Oct 2013
    New Hampshire
    Garrett GTI 2500
    254
    156 times
    Metal Detecting
    This deserves both an honorable mention and banner find! Fantastic!!!
    DownNDirty and thrifty76now like this.

  13. #13
    us
    Jul 2014
    western NC
    XP Deus/Tesoro Vaquero/ Tesoro Tiger Shark/ Tesoro Sand Shark/Garrett Pro Pointer II
    1,433
    1157 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Super find and great thing you did to give it to them. Good karma heading your way. Banner vote also!
    DownNDirty likes this.

  14. #14
    Great find and return DnD. I've been looking for your post I agree Banner vote in.
    Last edited by DirtStalker; Jul 28, 2015 at 12:42 PM.
    DownNDirty and thrifty76now like this.

  15. #15
    Agreed, a no brainer on the return.

    On the positive side, I'm sure your be welcome back anytime.
    DownNDirty and thrifty76now like this.
    TOO BUSY TO DETECT, YOU'RE TOO BUSY!!!

    'No good comes from thinking about how much time we waste detecting, as wasted time is good soul time' - me 25/06/08
    How do you find Gold coins? Reply: 'By finding lots of Silver ones..'
    A real man thinks about detecting every 6 seconds.
    'They look over their shoulder, I look to the ground.' 30/09/12
    We can not understand ourselves unless we understand our HISTORY.
    PMA:Positive MetalDetecting Attitude.
    "Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best"- Edward Abbey
    ONE LIFE - DETECT IT

 

 
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