SC Hatpin - Real or Reproduction?
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  1. #1
    us
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    SC Hatpin - Real or Reproduction?

    Hey folks, a friend of mine recently found this SC pin in an area near the Battle of Waynesboro (VA). It's in VERY good condition. We suspect it might be a modern reproduction though. What do y'all think? The same pin appears on Howard Crouch's Civil War Artifacts, page 158. It's about 2" or so long. Thanks for lookin'!
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    billb likes this.
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  2. #2
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    Re: SC - Real or Reproduction?

    Looks like a sweet hatpin! I'm kinda concerned about the scratched out area on the back. Could be the scratched out portion of "Copy". Just my thoughts.

  3. #3
    us
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    Re: SC - Real or Reproduction?

    Quote Originally Posted by toddsumm1
    Looks like a sweet hatpin! I'm kinda concerned about the scratched out area on the back. Could be the scratched out portion of "Copy". Just my thoughts.
    Yeah, I noticed that but don't have any idea how the scratch got there.
    "A land without ruins is a land without memories -- a land without memories is a land without history." ~ Rev. Abram Joseph Ryan, Poet Laureate of the Confederacy

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  4. #4
    us
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    Re: SC Hatpin - Real or Reproduction?

    Is it a solid piece of brass? cause if it is, then I would say modern cause it would have been too heavy for the hat, and the one in Crouchs is stamped sheet brass if my memory serves me right.

  5. #5
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    Re: SC Hatpin - Real or Reproduction?

    my first impression is that the patina on the front seems way too even. If authentic, its awesome!

  6. #6
    us
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    Re: SC Hatpin - Real or Reproduction?

    Quote Originally Posted by genlee
    Is it a solid piece of brass? cause if it is, then I would say modern cause it would have been too heavy for the hat, and the one in Crouchs is stamped sheet brass if my memory serves me right.
    It belongs to someone else, so I don't have it with me but I'm pretty sure it is solid. The other thing I noticed about it was that there was no hint of green patina.
    "A land without ruins is a land without memories -- a land without memories is a land without history." ~ Rev. Abram Joseph Ryan, Poet Laureate of the Confederacy

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  7. #7
    us
    Aug 2004
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    Re: SC Hatpin - Real or Reproduction?

    The item is most assuredly a contemporary cast reproduction of a South Carolina hat pin. The original military hat pins of the 1850's and 1860's (including ones such as the South Carolina palmetto tree design), were stamped from thin rolled sheet brass. On the original thin stamped brass South Carolina hat pins, the palmetto tree trunk just below the palm fronds is a very weak point, resulting in most original found specimens being broken and separated into two pieces. With thin rolled sheet brass that is die stamped, the design impression is also seen in reverse relief, on the back side. On military accoutrement devices that were more utilitarian and subject to stress and strain, lead solder fill was poured into the back of thinly stamped brass items, for products such as belt plates, cartridge box plates, etc., to produce a stronger finished product. Lead solder fill though, was almost never used (with rare exception), on thinly stamped brass headgear insignia. A quick, "at a glance" inspection of the back on this piece above, shows no reverse impression detail, of a stamped South Carolina palmetto design. The back side of this particular SC palmetto hat device, clearly shows the smooth surface and flow lines, of cast material. Additionally, the curious scratching marks (where obviously someone recently "tested" to see what type of metal was present), clearly shows brass and rules out any other fill material. Cast reproduction hat device pieces, have been available to reenactment groups over the past four decades or so, and are on occasion found in proximity to noted Civil War battlefields.

    An original South Carolina palmetto tree hat pin device is in my personal collection, excavated in a camp of the South Carolina Artillery, among many South Carolina buttons, and Civil War period coins.

    CC Hunter
    CRUSADER, Steve in PA and SCdigger like this.

  8. #8
    us
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    Re: SC Hatpin - Real or Reproduction?

    Quote Originally Posted by CC Hunter
    The item is most assuredly a contemporary cast reproduction of a South Carolina hat pin. The original military hat pins of the 1850's and 1860's (including ones such as the South Carolina palmetto tree design), were stamped from thin rolled sheet brass. On the original thin stamped brass South Carolina hat pins, the palmetto tree trunk just below the palm fronds is a very weak point, resulting in most original found specimens being broken and separated into two pieces. With thin rolled sheet brass that is die stamped, the design impression is also seen in reverse relief, on the back side. On military accoutrement devices that were more utilitarian and subject to stress and strain, lead solder fill was poured into the back of thinly stamped brass items, for products such as belt plates, cartridge box plates, etc., to produce a stronger finished product. Lead solder fill though, was almost never used (with rare exception), on thinly stamped brass headgear insignia. A quick, "at a glance" inspection of the back on this piece above, shows no reverse impression detail, of a stamped South Carolina palmetto design. The back side of this particular SC palmetto hat device, clearly shows the smooth surface and flow lines, of cast material. Additionally, the curious scratching marks (where obviously someone recently "tested" to see what type of metal was present), clearly shows brass and rules out any other fill material. Cast reproduction hat device pieces, have been available to reenactment groups over the past four decades or so, and are on occasion found in proximity to noted Civil War battlefields.

    An original South Carolina palmetto tree hat pin device is in my personal collection, excavated in a camp of the South Carolina Artillery, among many South Carolina buttons, and Civil War period coins.

    CC Hunter
    Thanks CCH (and everyone else as well), y'all confirmed our suspicions.
    "A land without ruins is a land without memories -- a land without memories is a land without history." ~ Rev. Abram Joseph Ryan, Poet Laureate of the Confederacy

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  9. #9

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    Re: SC Hatpin - Real or Reproduction?

    C.C. Hunter knows his stuff so it's likely a repro. Richard. If reproduction CW items aren't enough, the Bannerman Warehouse has been prividing authentic CW items (never saw service or field use0 to CW relic dealers for years. the stamped brass crossed swords and cannon hat pins are a good examples. Lots of CW stuff out there for sale and in the ground to fool everyone. HH, Q.
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  10. #10
    us
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    Re: SC Hatpin - Real or Reproduction?

    Quote Originally Posted by VOL1266-X
    C.C. Hunter knows his stuff so it's likely a repro. Richard. If reproduction CW items aren't enough, the Bannerman Warehouse has been prividing authentic CW items (never saw service or field use0 to CW relic dealers for years. the stamped brass crossed swords and cannon hat pins are a good examples. Lots of CW stuff out there for sale and in the ground to fool everyone. HH, Q.
    We kinda figured. But sometimes ya hope you're wrong.
    "A land without ruins is a land without memories -- a land without memories is a land without history." ~ Rev. Abram Joseph Ryan, Poet Laureate of the Confederacy

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  11. #11
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    Re: SC Hatpin - Real or Reproduction?


    I think it's a repro. Here's a real one I found last year. Actually it was broken into 2 pieces. I found one piece and a buddy found the other and I bought his piece from him. I sent it off to Leonard Short and had it repaired and now it's whole and in my collection. It was snapped near the top of the trunk but you can't tell now that the two pieces have been rejoined. Leonard is one amazing repairman! So this is what a genuine SC dug hatpin should look like. They are made of thin stamped brass. I have seen one solid cast variety that was genuine but it went on a saddle as a decoration and it was used by the german artillery of Charleston. It doesnt look like the piece you have . Again the piece you have looks fake if you ask me.

    Pete
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  12. #12
    us
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    Re: SC Hatpin - Real or Reproduction?

    Thanks Pete, for posting up your fine example.

    Finding any piece of a SC hat pin is a rare privilege. To find one with silver plate is even rarer, and an incredible coincidence to find a fellow digger with a matching palmetto piece that has silver as well. I have noted the fine artistry of Leonard Short on numerous restorations. No doubt about it, he is the best!

    My SC hat pin is the same design style as yours. I dug mine about 26 years ago, and found half of the palmetto hat pin buried only a couple inches down in the sand. At the time I was testing a new Teknetics machine for the factory, and it was the deepest relic detector I had ever seen. A day or so later, I found the other portion of the hat pin about 10 feet away, and buried about 20" deep! Actually only got a whisper of a signal and was digging everything that day, even if the sound was no more than a gnat in my headphones, or false ground signals. Glad I dug that hole!

    CC Hunter

  13. #13
    us
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    Re: SC Hatpin - Real or Reproduction?

    Nice, be nice to know if it is the real deal, I'll be watching.
    Cleaning up America and getting rich, one pop-top and penny at a time.

    Coop

  14. #14
    us
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    Re: SC Hatpin - Real or Reproduction?


  15. #15

    May 2016
    1
    Relic Hunting

    SC Hatpin-Genuine Period Manufactured or a cherished reproduction?

    I also have a SC "hat pin" which I bought as part of an estate sale in SC about 20 years ago. It was displayed alongside jewelry. I had the piece "appraised" by proprietors of a local Confederate Museum. One expert declared it a reproduction, but a second expert declared it a genuine period piece manufactured between 1861-1864. He insisted that the "proof" consists of evidence of two attachment points on the back where a "vertical pin" once was attached. The back currently shows multiple attempts to solder a more modern pin attachment to the back, but the solder ranges from lead to silver and the pin is not a contemporary (mid to late 20th century) design. I have been advised to have a jeweler saw away the current pin attachment since it is not original to the pin and detracts from the authenticity of the pin.
    I have seen the front of several authentic period pins including the one in Howard Crouch's book on Civil War Relics, but no one shares a photo of the reverse side of an authentic pin. I thought that my pin looked more like the pin in Crouch's photo than the silver-plated ones. I respect the opinions of CC Hunter and others on this forum and would like to know what members think of my pin and whether or not it's trash or treasure.

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