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Thread: Old Button I Think / What do think?

  1. #1
    Elite Member Digger Don's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
    Northern Illinois

    Old Button I Think / What do think?

    My son dug this at an old brick farm house. The owner said it was part of a fort in the 1830s.
    There are no visible markings and it's kind of crusty. Any guess on it's age and what it might be made of?
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  2. #2
    I think that’s pewter. Probably late 1700s I’m guessing. Someone else on here I’m sure will know better

  3. #3
    Noah is spot on I think. A poor man's tombac button made of pewter but looks like a tombac. The clue for me is the crusty edge and the hump where the shank is soldered on. But that's just my guess based on 2 pictures. Age is probably 1790s to 1810.
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  4. #4
    Common find at our colonial era cellar holes here on the east coast. When they were new they looked real nice and were often cast with fancy designs. Pewter doesn't hold up well unfortunately. Often they don't even look as good as yours. But they are always a welcome find in any condition.
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  5. #5
    I agree that from the pictures it looks pewter, the shank looks iron, curios I’ve never found a pewter button without a mold seem ( prob under the crust) I’ve also never found one that nice! I think it matches up with the date of the fort late 1700’s early 1800’s. Great find,

  6. #6
    Global Moderator OxShoeDrew's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    I agree with the above folks...I've bet that shank IS iron as our's aways have long rotted away. We just have the pimple left.
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  7. #7
    Full Member fyrffytr1's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    southwset Georgia
    I have had success stabilizing pewter buttons by coating them with a 50/50 mix of Elmer's glue and water. It will continue to deteriorate if left untreated.
    My wife does all the driving, I just hold the steering wheel!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by fyrffytr1 View Post
    I have had success stabilizing pewter buttons by coating them with a 50/50 mix of Elmer's glue and water. It will continue to deteriorate if left untreated.
    That’s a great tip thanks!

  9. #9
    Administrator del's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    Old site Don , you might want to spend more time digging the very deep subtle signals . The button definitely looks like a tombac as most pewter buttons had cast shanks not wire or iron looped ones , this one looks like it was subjected to terrible conditions (repeatedly wet or moist conditions or harsh fertilizers ) . congrats sir .

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