This is a culmination of three hunts at three sites over three days this past Victoria Day long weekend here in Ontario. These are all sites that I can only detect in the early spring after the fields have been disked and before they get replanted. The first site was an early homestead site the Arkies dug in 2015, this is where I found the 6 early buttons. The next site is where I’ve found at least 12 early coins/token, unfortunately the soil here is not kind to coppers and some come out in the condition these two came out in. Both of these coins are likely to be George III Halfpenny coins, these were struck from 1760 - 1820.
The last site I detected was a 5-acre field, it sits directly behind a homestead that was active from 1840 – 1920 or thereabouts. It was in this field that I found the gold wax letter seal last week. My first find here was a very thin beat-up early copper coin. My next find was half of a brass Victorian fly fishing reel, thankfully, about 30 feet along the same row I found the missing opposite side.
Victorian Fly Fishing Reel
1800’s brass Birmingham Fly Fishing Reel with unique fishing scenes on both side plates, maker unknown. “This attractive Birmingham reel, featuring bas relief angling scenes on the plates, it was commercially produced in at least two sizes, both as a crank-handle reel and as a revolving plate reel. It appears to be a Victorian-era British-made product. However, the design was reproduced in Germany during the 1970s, and it is now difficult to differentiate the original reels from the reproductions.” You can view a photo of a 1970 repro fishing reel shown in my last pic.
Reuben Heaton Fishing Scene Reels 1890-1910
One of the most attractive vintage brass fishing reels is this model with the embossed fishing scene side plate. Made by Reuben Heaton of Birmingham, England they date from c 1890 to 1910. The reels came in assorted finishes including brass, bronze and silvered. The side plates or medals could at the point of manufacture be fitted to either plain, multiplier or plate wind winches so that indicates the embossed scene started out more as a separate medallion rather than cast as part of the reel.
If you’re really lucky you may find the initials RH embossed at the lower bank portion by the creel. I had a few over the years but not many. The reels would come with and without a check clicker, assorted handle materials to make a few variants to collect. The plate wind and multiplier versions are super rare and a good find for any collector. There were some later replicas appearing at various antique fairs some 20-30 years ago. These can be easily spotted as they are a thin bent plate brass, the angling detail is fuzzy, they are often bent and come with a handle pin but no handle knob, so if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
Here’s a link to the website if anyone is interested… https://www.thomasturner.com/reuben-heaton-fishing-scene-reels-1890-1910/
Thanks very much for looking,