Found King Louis XVI on a button, in a trash pit... and much more.
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Thread: Found King Louis XVI on a button, in a trash pit... and much more.

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  1. #1
    us
    Apr 2013
    East Coast - USA
    XP Deus, GPX 4500, Equinox 800, AT Max
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    Found King Louis XVI on a button, in a trash pit... and much more.

    I sifted some more of my trash pit on Saturday, however that was not my plan. Rewind to Friday... I had off work for Good Friday, and decided to wake up with the Sun and find a cellar hole. I had about a 3 mile hike up a mountain and 3 miles back down. Based on my map overlays and topo maps, I thought I knew just where it was. Either I was way off, or I was standing next to it and it was hidden in the underbrush. The sky opened up and dumped rain on me... soaking wet, I got a hand full of modern shell casings and bullets.... I hiked back out to hit another cellar... shell casings there. So I went to the site I got the pillars and globe cufflink at a month ago and only dug clad and foil. The day was a bust, so I was home by noon to do yard work.

    Saturday rolled around and I decided I needed a good hunt. I have some "good hunts" left in this trash pit that I was saving for the summer. So I decided to open up a section and sift some more. I had high hopes of unmasking a copper or a silver, but it wasnt meant to be. I did however get some good buttons, including an incredible King Louis the 16th of France button, cast with a drilled shank. Some other odds and ends turned up including a early to mid 1800's fork handle with wood intact and a cool heart inlay. Some pipe stem pieces and a few bone buttons also popped up. Other than that, a ton of glass and pottery... two 3 ringers and some carved lead.

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    King Louis XVI of France was in power when the French fought for the US during the American Revolution. He was married to Marie Antoinette and eventually they were both executed at the guillotine for treason and various other crimes. I originally thought this was King George, but then I googled "LUD XVI D G FR" on the button and turns out, its a facsimile of a Louis XVI ECU silver coin obverse. I don't know what denomination a French ECU is, but it looks like its a half dollar sized silver coin. I couldn't be happier with this pewter button Into the case he goes, along with King Carlos on the reales and King George on the coppers!

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    Here he is fresh out of the dirt.

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    While this post is about my hunt on Sat (3/26), I did get out for a few hours last Sun (3/20) evening (same site) and right when I thought that short hunt was going to be a bust, I wandered out of my typical grid area where its quiet and nailed this 1800 DBLC. It was in plowed soil and only an inch or two deep. Very loud and thought it was going to be big iron. It actually looks like its one of the overdate varieties.... but pretty toasted.

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    This really cool fork handle came out of the pit with wood intact. I've had some experience preserving this sort of relic... after its out of the dirt and it starts to dry out, the wood will basically warp and turn to dust. Mineral oil and rubber bands will keep it together until it dries out and the oil soaks into the wood.

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    There is another tiny doll arm in there. Also some more pigs teeth and some boar jaw bones turned up... and of course, some more rose heads! I actually tumbled all the nails from this pit section and I included all of them just tossed around between the pottery.

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    Here is the pile of all the glass and iron. Lots of work to sort and clean all this stuff. Most if it will be put into storage and hopefully I can put together some more of the plates and bowls when I finish the pit.

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    More pig and cow bones... I leave all this stuff behind, but its helps tell the story of what they were eating.

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    Anyone know what this is? Its brass on the inside and iron on the outside. Perhaps a ferrule to a fork\knife or spoon.

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    Some nice iron turned up too. What I believe is a chisel with some wood still on the handle. And that curved piece that reminded me of one of those "Brick Ties" that you see on the side of an old brick house to help support the wall... but I'm not sure that's what it really is.

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  2. #2
    Nice find, its actually a linked-button or cufflink. Cool.
    TOO BUSY TO DETECT,YOU'RE TOO BUSY!!!

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  3. #3
    us
    Apr 2013
    East Coast - USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRUSADER View Post
    Nice find, its actually a linked-button or cufflink. Cool.
    I thought you might know about that button!! I saw some that were the reverse of a King Louis ECU coin, but I couldn't find one like this with the obverse of the coin and Louis' bust. So its a cufflink?? That's pretty awesome. Odd, I dig 100's of plain buttons, but lately I've been finding cufflink buttons with cool designs on them. Know where there is anymore info on these Louis XVI cufflinks? Thanks a ton Cru

    Brad

  4. #4
    us
    Oct 2011
    Keystone state
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    Sweet finds, your curved thing may maybe part of a window shutter stay ? happy hunting

  5. #5
    us
    Apr 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsdq View Post
    Sweet finds, your curved thing may maybe part of a window shutter stay ? happy hunting
    Excellent... just googled it and I think you're right. Its a little too small to be a Brick Tie and I think it fits a shutter stay much better... it looks a lot like some of the S shaped ones I just saw. Thanks a ton nsdq.

  6. #6
    Dang Brad - that pewter linked button, or whatever it is, is the finest example I've seen both in the uniqueness of its design as well as the condition. Great job on all the other goodies as well.
    MY BOOK HAS SOLD OUT OF ALL 1200+ COPIES IN LESS THAN 4 MONTHS. NO 2ND PRINTING IS ANTICIPATED AT THIS TIME. THANKS TO ALL WHO MADE THIS PROJECT A SUCCESS.


  7. #7
    us
    Silver Coin Fiend

    Apr 2014
    Charlotte
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    Very nice Brad. The Louis "button" is really nice.

    Best of luck to you!

  8. #8
    us
    Jul 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
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    You are really killing it on the coin facsimile cuff links. That's the first French one I have seen.

  9. #9
    us
    Apr 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D. (VA) View Post
    Dang Brad - that pewter linked button, or whatever it is, is the finest example I've seen both in the uniqueness of its design as well as the condition. Great job on all the other goodies as well.
    Thanks a ton Bill! It came out of the side wall in the bottom corner of the section I was working. It almost didn't make it in this section I opened... even worse, since it was on the border of two sections, it could have gotten chopped when I cut the sod. There is a 4'x4' section next to it that I will sift next time. Now i'm excited to open it up.

  10. #10
    us
    Apr 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolina Tom View Post
    Very nice Brad. The Louis "button" is really nice.

    Best of luck to you!
    Thanks a ton Tom! Best of luck to you too man.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in PA View Post
    You are really killing it on the coin facsimile cuff links. That's the first French one I have seen.
    Thanks a ton Steve! Its crazy how things in this hobby seem to come in bursts. Lately I've been getting tons of buttons... then there will be a month stretch that I cant find a button to save my life. ha 4 of these facsimile links have turned up a 2 different sites all in this month. I actually thought this one was a button because I couldnt find anything like it online... unlike the real links that I found, which seem well documented.

  11. #11
    us
    Jan 2016
    western MA
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    Great finds! Could you give some advice on how you go through a dump like this? I have found one myself but a bit overwhelming to try and tackle. Thanks!

  12. #12
    us
    Jun 2015
    The Grants
    Etrac
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    You are capable of some serious trash pit excavation effort! So great to see the results, too. This is what I was imagining as I read your post:

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    I believe I discovered a lesser trashpit last year without really realizing what I found. I think this weekend it may warm up enough for me to begin digging it out. Thanks for providing some inspiration.
    I have but three things to teach: simplicity, patience, and compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. -Lao Tzu

    Those who do not look upon themselves as a link connecting the past with the future, do not perform their duty to the world. - Daniel Webster

    Fun Finds:
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  13. #13
    us
    Colonial relic hound

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    South Carolina
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    You're going to have to name that site 'The Giving Pit" because of all the great relics you're pulling out of it. Congratulations once again; and yes that is a chisel. I found one very similar to it last year.

  14. #14
    us
    Feb 2013
    York PA, Edisto Beach SC, Shepherdstown WV
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    Digging trashpits is one of my favorite ways of finding artfucats, that Louis cufflink I ssuberb!! Wtg!!!!
    "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." -Thomas Jefferson

  15. #15
    us
    Apr 2013
    East Coast - USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by danjsargent View Post
    Great finds! Could you give some advice on how you go through a dump like this? I have found one myself but a bit overwhelming to try and tackle. Thanks!
    Sure... I can try at least. I'm still learning and I know I'm not doing things the most efficient yet. I just started sifting last summer, with maybe 10 sifting trips under my belt and fumbling my way through. The "pit" at this place was more of a "pile". Its not one hole that is deep and filled, but rather a huge area that has top soil down about a foot, with red clay at the bottom.

    The first thing I did was find which areas that were worth sifting. I did this by keeping an eye on what I was seeing in the plugs as I was detecting. Anytime I got a plug with oyster shells, pottery and brick in it, I would mark it as an area I wanted to sift in the future.

    What I do is lay down a tarp. Use a big shovel to cut a 4' x 4' (or so) section and remove the sod and set aside. I then shovel out all the dirt onto the tarp. Every 5 min or so, I'll run my machine over it and find non-ferrous tones that got unmasked. In a good section of the pit, I'll be picking out stuff constantly as I'm putting the dirt on the tarp. Once I empty the pit out down to the clay layer, I detect it one more time, and then sift all the dirt back into the hole... detecting as I go (again) and picking all the stuff out of the sifter. Finally the sod goes back and I repeat it all again on another 4 foot section.

    My issues right now are that I only have a small hand held sifter and I need to build a bigger one. So its backbreaking work to sift back in. On my trip on Sat, in 6 hours I only did about 40 square feet of pit. My back was killing me and I was exhausted.

    I am also overwhelmed by the size of this pit. Buts its all colonial through mid 1800's, so I will chip away at it and enjoy the stuff that surfaces. I am constantly surprised at what is masked down there and its a ton of fun sifting it out.

 

 
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