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Thread: Shoe/knee buckle ferrous inserts

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  1. #1
    Upper Fort Garry

    Jul 2012
    In da bush
    Fisher's 1266X, 1270X & 1280X
    1649 times
    Living for the hunt!

    Shoe/knee buckle ferrous inserts

    Hello history lovers, in this post I will show you the steel/iron insert buckles that a lot of colonial hunter's are missing due to bad soil conditions.
    Everything I'm showing comes from late 18th century fur trade post sites, where the soil is kind and unmolested.
    The fur trade is my colonial period and think this post belongs here, as these buckles were used across the continent and over the great pond.
    I'm not going to show my half-dozen non-ferrous frames and the numerous frame fragments, as many colonial hunter's have way better collections.
    This post is to show those advanced collectors what some of the inserts looked like, that more than likely rotted away at their sites.
    This post is meant for study purposes only!
    Yes, many have found COMPLETE buckles, but most have non-ferrous inserts.
    I looked over dozens of posts and did not see any with ferrous inserts and if I did, they were rusted blobs!

    The first batch of buckles all come from the same 18th C. French trader's cabin site.
    Not sure if this was an insert or a complete ferrous (knee?) buckle ......
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This next one is completely ferrous but has silver plating on the front.....
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    Not in the best condition but the whole thing came out of the ground together.
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    This large ferrous insert has a bit of brass wash (upper middle) on it.....
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    This insert (found a few weeks ago) is the first of this type for me....
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    It's got quite the curve to it.
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    Here's a bunch of ferrous inserts......
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    The one on the top left is a perfect fit for this frame I found at the same site....
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The two long prongs are curved the same way as the frame.
    Here's the front of the frame....
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    The rest of the finds come from other late 18th century post sites. This knee buckle? was found complete with ferrous insert......
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1520905
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    More from other sites.....
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    A little rough but still a different style....
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    This is a complete ferrous frame with globs of solder. I wonder if it was in a fire and all the non-ferrous plating melted off into a ball?
    Still has a design present.....
    Click image for larger version. 

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    There's two pieces to this ferrous insert....
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    Finally, I will show a non-ferrous insert from the same site. The photo doesn't show the green patina very well.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is just to show you the difference.

    IMO, the buckle shown in Undertaker's post "1700's buckle" in this forum is the real deal and not a reproduction.
    Look at the iron object in the display case below and you will see that he has kind soil conditions!
    Since there are others with nice soil conditions, please post any ferrous examples that you may have found here.
    I hope this post helps to understand how some buckles may have looked with ferrous inserts.
    A metal detector can only do so much..........
    It's up to you to do the rest!

  2. #2
    Silver Coin Fiend

    Apr 2014
    XP Deus V3.2 9" & 11" Coils, AT Pro, ProPointer AT, Lesche 55, 75 & 80LT
    14542 times
    Digging In Strangers Front Yards
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Very nice collection. Thanks for taking the time to educate us a little bit.

  3. #3
    Nice buckles. I have quite a few myself that have the iron portions remaining. Soil conditions in Ontario are pretty decent when it comes to preservation. Of course it still varies greatly from site to site.
    Velox Versutus Vigilans

  4. #4

    Jun 2006
    203 times
    Banner Finds (2)
    Only the very top buckle is a knee buckle the rest are shoe buckles , you have a very nice collection of chapes and tongues and I agree the iron rarely holds up well enough to get a good idea how they look on the frames .

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    Detect smarter, not harder.

    Mar 2014
    17th century
    Minelab CTX 3030 & XP Deus
    12367 times
    FOUNDING MEMBER: Basstards of Bramble
    Banner Finds (5)
    Thanks for the reference-quality iron chape innards, and the time it took to post it. Iíve pulled a bunch out, but unfortunately the rust was too far gone to salvage anything. Your examples are amazing.

    "Take the detecta-drama elsewhere - I'm just here to dig!"

    Running totals:

    Hammered Silvers - 2
    Hammered Coppers - 1
    Milled Spanish Silver - 14
    Transitional US State Coppers - 9
    United States Cent/Half cent Coppers - 131
    British & Other colonial Coppers - 107
    Slick coppers - too painful to talk about
    Silver Coins - Weíll over a 1000

    Favourite Finds:
    1665 1-reale Spanish Cob
    Revolutionary War stirrup
    1812 2nd Regiment Artillarists pewter button
    1695 Willam 3rd Halfpenny in excellent condition
    G.W. Inagural Buttons - 6 Point Estoile cuff variety
    Love token etched on 1859 seated Dime
    1831 Louis Phillippe 1st - 5 Franc
    1783 Nova Constelatio, Crosby-3C &. Crosby-1B
    1749 Regal King George II Farthing
    1776 Counter King George iii

    If it ain't at least seated, it aint Sh*t

  6. #6
    Colonial relic hound

    Jun 2015
    South Carolina
    Minelab Equinox 800
    3065 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    You have a very nice collection of ferrous tongue and chape "innards." thanks for sharing these-you are very fortunate to be digging in soil that is so forgiving.
    2018 best finds:

    - 1730 one real cob (Mexico City mint)
    - King George II half pennies (3)
    - Cut 1774 KG III half penny
    - 1787 Connecticut copper
    - 1868 two cent piece
    - 1867 shield nickel
    - 1838 & 1857 Seated Liberty half dimes
    - 1917 Walking Liberty half
    - Victorian mourning ring
    - Engraved silver cuff link and mourning cufflink
    - Partial 18th century short sword guard
    - War of 1812 riflemen button
    - Confederate block "A" and block "R" coat buttons
    - Early NY militia coat button



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