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  1. #1
    us
    Jul 2008
    Virginia Beach
    Excal 2 and E Trac
    1,755
    Banner Finds (2)

    Button, Button, Who's got the button?

    Hello all,

    I was out digging with my friend Steve a few days ago. We were exploring a site together hoping to find some signs of old targets. After about 3 hours of nothing but trash and light rain, Steve had to head home. I gave it about an hour more just hoping I was right about the site we were on.

    As the rain started to pick up, I began to think more and more about following him. Then I hit a signal that changed everything.

    It was a strong signal in the injun range(12-32 to 12-34 on the Etrac). Expecting another piece of trash, I cut a plug and flipped out about 4-6 inches of dirt. Nothing in the plug, so I stuck my probe in the hole and it began singing. Reached in and felt something solid in the loose dirt and what a shock I received when I saw what it was. There in my hand were not one, but SEVEN one piece convex buttons. And they were all on a very small piece of string.

    I was amazed at my fortune, and out of habit stuck the probe back in the hole. It sang! I reached in, grabbed some dirt, tossed it to the side, and checked the hole. Still singing. The next handful I checked before tossing it and the probe sang, so I sifted through the dirt to find TWO more buttons. Puzzled, I checked the pile I had just tossed down, and sure enough, I had tossed TWO more aside. So there I was with 7 buttons on a string and 4 loose buttons.

    Again, out of habit, I stuck the probe in the hole and it was STILL singing. I reached in and all the loose dirt was gone, so I started feeling into the sides of the hole. In one corner down at the bottom I felt something solid. I grabbed it firmly, gave a tug, and a TON of buttons on a string came out!! I wish I had had a camera to capture the discovery, but alas, I have no field photos.

    There was nothing left in the hole, so I filled it, carefully packaged my buttons, and headed home. On the way I began daydreaming about having a coat made with authentic buttons. I have been waiting until I found enough similar buttons to make a coat, and there in one hole I found enough for at least one. I was a VERY happy camper.

    Upon arriving at home, I carefully pulled out the buttons, snapped a few photos of the dirty bunch and then started investigating them. It was then I noticed gilt. So I grab one of the loose buttons and start cleaning the back with naval jelly(a big thanks to Buckleboy for his guide and personal advice on cleaning these buttons.) I was under the impression these were standard civilian one piece buttons like I had found in the past, so the back seemed the most logical to start with.

    After a little patience with the jelly, a nice backmark appeared. I did a little research and this is what I learned.

    The backmark reads: ARMITAGE PHILA with the words TREBLE GILT in smaller print on the outside rim of the button. George Armitage was born in Sheffield England and moved to the United States in 1795. In 1799 he began making buttons in Philadelphia and continued to do so until 1826 when he sold the business.

    Reading that set me on an even higher cloud than I had been on before. Knowing these buttons had some age to them was just more icing on the cake. After making that discovery, I began cleaning the outside of the button I had begun working on. All was fine until the jelly started working. As the jelly started removing dirt and the Qtip moved it around slowly, tiny details began to emerge. Little by little I started seeing something, and then suddenly, my dreams of a period coat were bashed.

    There on the button stood and Eagle.

    Shock and awe immediately set in, and as I continued cleaning they took greater hold on me. Not only had I found 33 one piece buttons, but they were old as the dickens, had an amazing amount of gilt on them, and they were MILITARY.

    Once again I rushed to the web to research. Calls to friends and Buckleboy were also made around the same time. After a couple hours of looking we finally found out what I had found, and the reality of what I had became even better.

    33 Stunningly beautiful US Infantry Officer buttons from the War of 1812

    I am shocked, stunned, and amazed to have made this discovery, and it is beyond my wildest dream to dig just one, let alone 33 buttons of this age in this condition. The only theory I can come up with for this find is that these buttons were originally held in some sort of bag, pouch or box and were lost in transit. It appears that they were strung tightly together by the man who made them and sent out to whoever or wherever to be sewn into a coat there. Whatever held them has long since deteriorated, as I saw no evidence of it in the hole. There is no other way I can make sense of the buttons being so nice and the string being still intact.

    If you have any theories about their origin, I am very interested to hear them. We may never know the full story, but I am elated with this find. Thank you for reading(I hope I was not too long winded) and happy hunting!
    Anthony

    The photos are as follows:
    #1: all 33 eagle buttons(the chipped tombac was in the hole but does not match so I did not make note of it before)
    #2: 22 dirty buttons on a string(these are as yet uncleaned, but you can still see some details)
    #3: The front of one of the buttons
    #4: Closeup of the backmark on one
    #5: 9 of the buttons(5 came off the small string in cleaning, but 2 are still left on at the moment)
    #6: The backside of 6 of the buttons. There is still a little dirt in a few of them
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    It is amazing what men will do for an extra inch.

  2. #2
    us
    Building my empire one Shiny at a time

    Dec 2007
    Tacoma, Wa.
    Whites MXT, Garrett Pro-Pointer
    2,014
    3 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: Button, Button, Who's got the button?

    Just frickin awesome. If ever there was a BANNER worthy post its this one.

    JuJu
    Thats gonna itch when it dries.

  3. #3
    us
    Ace250man

    Jul 2004
    Shelbyville or any yard where the owner will let me detect!
    ace 250
    20,002
    78 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: Button, Button, Who's got the button?

    wtg on those amazing buttons !!
    ALLEN

  4. #4
    Charter Member

    May 2005
    6,381
    80 times

    Re: Button, Button, Who's got the button?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5

    Re: Button, Button, Who's got the button?

    Stunning Buttons and great BANNER find :P

    do you have any idea why they were all strung together

    BIG Congrats again

    SS.
    Don't piss down my back, then tell me it's raining.

  6. #6
    us
    Aug 2006
    Jockey Hollow
    White's MXT
    233
    1 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: Button, Button, Who's got the button?

    Simply awesome!! BANNER!!
    Retired

  7. #7
    us
    NJ

    Nov 2006
    Middlesex County, New Jersey
    Whites DFX w/ Sunray DX-1 probe and Minelab Excalibur 1000, Whites TRX Pinpointer
    3,246
    103 times
    Metal Detecting

    Re: Button, Button, Who's got the button?

    Great find and congrats on the banner.

    The first time I read this I got so excited I voted banner but never posted comments. I did not realize it until I came back to read it again...lol.

    Great stuff
    NJ

  8. #8
    us
    Aug 2006
    missouri
    mxt
    395
    13 times

    Re: Button, Button, Who's got the button?

    absolutely beautiful buttons congrats
    A bad day of MDing is better than a good day at work

  9. #9
    us
    Dec 2008
    VALLEY ALABAMA
    GARRETT GTA 500
    3,650
    1 times

    Re: Button, Button, Who's got the button?

    wow
    STRIPPING SILVER OUT OF BANKS AT FACE

  10. #10
    us
    Apr 2009
    Central New York
    Minelab Ctx 3030
    2,460
    414 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (4)
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: Button, Button, Who's got the button?

    Wow what a find!!!!!!

  11. #11

    Feb 2008
    spokane,wa.
    Whites Classic I.D.
    620
    2 times

    Re: Button, Button, Who's got the button?

    Congrats on a most wonderful Banner find. Jimbob

  12. #12
    us
    Oct 2008
    Wayne Co. IL. "POND CREEK"
    Tesoro's (many- 7-8)
    2,491
    1 times
    Honorable Mentions (2)

    Re: Button, Button, Who's got the button?

    BUTTONVILLE USA,,,= BANNERVILLE,,,,WOW,,,, AWESOME!!!!!!!

    ARTHUR

  13. #13
    us
    Jul 2009
    new jersey
    minelab, white's xlt, deus xp, fisher aquanaut, white's twin box
    1,785
    58 times
    Relic Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: Button, Button, Who's got the button?

    Outstanding!!! The kind of find we dream of making! Congratulations!

    By the way, the little f initial was the signature of Moritz Furst who engraved the buttons. Wonderful inspiring War of 1812 find!
    johnnyi

  14. #14
    us
    Jul 2009
    Whiting, NJ
    Ace 250
    10,507
    991 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Button, Button, Who's got the button?

    WTG, that is an incredible find. People can search their whole lives for one of those buttons and here you get 33, amazing. I wish we could find out the story on how they got there too, but that will never happen Surely a banner find

  15. #15
    us
    Jul 2008
    Virginia Beach
    Excal 2 and E Trac
    1,755
    Banner Finds (2)

    Re: Button, Button, Who's got the button?

    Thank you all for voting my find to the banner. It is an honor just to be considered.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyi
    Outstanding!!! The kind of find we dream of making! Congratulations!

    By the way, the little f initial was the signature of Moritz Furst who engraved the buttons. Wonderful inspiring War of 1812 find!
    Thank you for this bit of information. A friend noticed the 'F' but I could not see it until I looked at the photo when I was cropping it.
    Anthony
    It is amazing what men will do for an extra inch.

 

 
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