Is this a "spun back" button? And an old horseshoe - age?
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Thread: Is this a "spun back" button? And an old horseshoe - age?

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  1. #1
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    Minelab Equinox 800 White's MXT
    442
    987 times
    Gold Prospecting + Metal Detecting

    Is this a "spun back" button? And an old horseshoe - age?

    Hi everyone. I squeezed in one more hunt this morning, returning to a farm field where we think we've found the outline of an old out-building. Detecting around that outline I found a lot of iron, which I was digging on purpose. In the first picture the stuff near the horseshoe was all found together near the building outline; a lot of the "newer" stuff (including the hunting arrow tip) was found some distance away.

    Anyway, is the button that I found a "spun back" button? I've tried to include a few pictures of the circular lines I see on the back. I've been researching and that what it seems to be, but I'm looking for confirmation please. Would that put its age in the late 1700's to early 1800's?
    Also, what is up with that rust on the front? Did the shaft come through to the front? Or is that rust on the front just...rust on the front? Should I scrape it off? (In one of the pics that I took through a magnifying glass you'll see that there's a crack in the rust).

    One more question for you experts: is that horseshoe old too? I think it is, based on the basic construction and the square nails still in it. (I cleaned out the two empty square nail holes will a poking device).

    Oh the shotgun head stamp is "Rem-UMC Nitro Club", pre-WW2.

    Thanks for your responses and for looking!

    - Brian

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  2. #2
    us
    Max

    Aug 2016
    Upstate, NY
    Deus XP
    670
    5211 times
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    Yup, that's a spun back tombac. The spinning refers to the method of finishing the button which would have been cast and then hand spun on a lathe to smooth the back. The rust is actually what's left of the shank. Most tombacs had brass or copper shanks that were inserted into the mold and the button cast around them, but others had iron which usually rusts away completely in the ground. As for the age, it was likely manufactured in the last quarter of the 18th century, but may not have been lost or discarded until several decades later.
    Last edited by paleomaxx; Sep 20, 2020 at 07:10 PM.
    Radon likes this.

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    us
    Randy

    Aug 2017
    SW Missouri/Oklahoma
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    What would life be without challenges, and detecting of course.....

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by paleomaxx View Post
    Yup, that's a spun back tombac. The spinning refers to the method of finishing the button which would have been cast and then hand spun on a lathe to smooth the back. The rust is actually what's left of the shank. Most tombacs had brass or copper shanks that were inserted into the mold and the button cast around them, but others had iron which usually rusts away completely in the ground. As for the age, it was likely manufactured in the last quarter of the 18th century, but may not have been lost or discarded until several decades later.
    Disagree. I find these all the time, the hole goes all the way throw the circular devise. I've never been sure of the function but I do know its probably NOT a button.
    PS. Unless its not the common 'washer type' (don't know how to describe these, once thought they were wick adjusters) thing I find with a rusty stem, & they took a button & put a hole through it as a replacement part??
    Last edited by CRUSADER; Sep 21, 2020 at 02:34 AM.
    gunsil likes this.
    TOO BUSY TO DETECT,YOU'RE TOO BUSY!!!

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  5. #5
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    Minelab Equinox 800 White's MXT
    442
    987 times
    Gold Prospecting + Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by CRUSADER View Post
    Disagree. I find these all the time, the hole goes all the way throw the circular devise. I've never been sure of the function but I do know its probably NOT a button.
    PS. Unless its not the common 'washer type' (don't know how to describe these, once thought they were wick adjusters) thing I find with a rusty stem, & they took a button & put a hole through it as a replacement part??
    CRUSADER you know I have great respect for your opinion on items. (We’ve PM’d a few times on things)

    In this case, though, i have to disagree with your disagreement. It’s definitely a button.
    I looked back at the pictures I posted and realized I did not send one that shows the broken shank clearly - I’m sorry about that. Here’s one:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Steve in PA likes this.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by brianc053 View Post
    CRUSADER you know I have great respect for your opinion on items. (We’ve PM’d a few times on things)

    In this case, though, i have to disagree with your disagreement. It’s definitely a button.
    I looked back at the pictures I posted and realized I did not send one that shows the broken shank clearly - I’m sorry about that. Here’s one:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    No worries, just looked like a common find I get. An iron shank on a tombac would be very unusual. But that seems to be what you have!
    gunsil likes this.
    TOO BUSY TO DETECT,YOU'RE TOO BUSY!!!

    'Time isn't money it's finds, unless your finds are money' 08/12/17
    'No good comes from thinking about how much time we waste detecting, as wasted time is good soul time' 25/06/08
    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.
    I open my prezzies out of lumps of mud. 02/10/19
    PMA:Positive MetalDetecting Attitude.
    ONE LIFE - DETECT IT

  7. #7
    Charter Member
    us
    Oct 2014
    Massachusetts
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    Congrats on the horseshoe and button!

  8. #8
    us
    Max

    Aug 2016
    Upstate, NY
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    No worries, just looked like a common find I get. An iron shank on a tombac would be very unusual. But that seems to be what you have!
    It's definitely less common, I'd say 5% or so of the tombacs I dig, but I just found another on Saturday so I expect it was a slightly cheaper option on the market at the time. The pressure from the rust formation sometimes punches through the face of the button which is why there will occasionally be rust on both sides.

  9. #9
    us
    Jul 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Fisher F75, XP Deus, Fisher 1270
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    I have found quite a few iron shanked spun back tombacs like that.
    Spanish Silver Totals
    Cut Pieces = 20
    Half Reals = 30
    1 Reals = 11
    2 Reales = 6
    8 Reales = 1
    2 Reale Cobs = 2
    Other Early Silver Coins
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in PA View Post
    I have found quite a few iron shanked spun back tombacs like that.
    In which case they must be more common over there for some reason.
    I get about 800 tombacs a year & never had one.
    Steve in PA likes this.
    TOO BUSY TO DETECT,YOU'RE TOO BUSY!!!

    'Time isn't money it's finds, unless your finds are money' 08/12/17
    'No good comes from thinking about how much time we waste detecting, as wasted time is good soul time' 25/06/08
    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.
    I open my prezzies out of lumps of mud. 02/10/19
    PMA:Positive MetalDetecting Attitude.
    ONE LIFE - DETECT IT

  11. #11
    us
    Jul 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Fisher F75, XP Deus, Fisher 1270
    8,278
    10241 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (3)
    Quote Originally Posted by CRUSADER View Post
    In which case they must be more common over there for some reason.
    I get about 800 tombacs a year & never had one.
    That's weird because I thought that !8th century tombacs were manufactured in England?
    Spanish Silver Totals
    Cut Pieces = 20
    Half Reals = 30
    1 Reals = 11
    2 Reales = 6
    8 Reales = 1
    2 Reale Cobs = 2
    Other Early Silver Coins
    1797 & 1803 Draped Bust Dimes
    1830 Capped Bust 5 cents
    1827 Capped Bust dime
    1661 Hammered silver King Leopold
    1697 William III 6-pence
    Rev War Buttons
    3rd Battalion PA, Hartley's Regiment, USA, (4) 18th Royal Irish, (2) Rattlesnake & Stars
    Civil War Plates
    VA Militia Cross Belt, CS Tongue, CS Wreath, VMM, US Box, Model 1851 Sword, Militia Plate w/Star

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in PA View Post
    That's weird because I thought that !8th century tombacs were manufactured in England?
    So did I. Did we send you over the cheap ones
    Steve in PA and gunsil like this.
    TOO BUSY TO DETECT,YOU'RE TOO BUSY!!!

    'Time isn't money it's finds, unless your finds are money' 08/12/17
    'No good comes from thinking about how much time we waste detecting, as wasted time is good soul time' 25/06/08
    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.
    I open my prezzies out of lumps of mud. 02/10/19
    PMA:Positive MetalDetecting Attitude.
    ONE LIFE - DETECT IT

 

 

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