08 May 2011

Metal Detecting Post #33 - 18th Century Recovery


I had previously posted about this ax head here. As I noted in that post . . . "I did some research using Eric Sloane's Museum of Early American Tools and it looks like it could be pre-Revolutionary, based on one of his sketches. I've contacted the Museum of Frontier Culture to see if they might be able to assist me in dating the piece. Hopefully, I'll get a response soon."

Well, I did get a response. I was contacted by Mr. David K. Puckett who is Curator of Collections for the Frontier Culture Museum. Mr. Puckett was kind enough to agree to meet me one morning last week to take a look at my ax head, which was recovered on a farm once owned by Stonewall Jackson's Chief of Staff and Chaplain, Robert Lewis Dabney. After carefully examining the ax head, Mr. Puckett said that the cutting blade was missing or had broken off and that it appeared the piece had also been used as a hammer; not an uncommon thing. He could not, with absolute 100% certainty date the tool, but said that he was relatively sure that the ax head was 18th century and most likely pre-Revolutionary--just as I had thought it might be. I was quite delighted! Finding, recovering, saving, and preserving a piece of American history is very satisfying. 


3 comments:

The Warrior said...

Absolutely fascinating, this stuff!

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

It's a great avocation for a young man to take up.

Anonymous said...

Great find there Rick. You could have a Dabney heirloom, passed down to Robert from previous generations. If only inanimate objects could talk...