Surf and Earth Today.

 Tuesday 1 July 2014.

 A total of £2.87 towards my challenge pot
Plus a silver ring, Lead Token, 1947 Shilling and three Musket Balls.


I was out this morning at 9am on a local beach detecting the dry sand, it was high tide when I got there. As I only had five hours for detecting I got right on with it and started to find a couple of decimal coins. It was within the first hour when I dug the silver ring. A lovely signal about 6 inches deep. I thought yes, I'm in for a good day. But in the following couple of hours finds were few and far between, and as the weather was nice people started to arrive. I always feel awkward with other people around when I'm detecting and as it is a small beach I was always in amongst them. So I decided to leave the beach and stop off on my local haunt on the way home, after all, I still had a couple of hours left.
Glad I did, as I did much better inland with the coin count. That's where the lead token came up and the three odd shaped musket balls.
 The ring showing three lions and marked inside the band 'SIL', shame the band is broke.
 
I'm assuming these are musket balls, only they are a weird shape with those knobbly bits.

 I believe this to be a Lead Token. It shows TC one side and HA on the other.
George VI One Shilling 1947.

15 comments:

  1. Nice ring. The ball shot still have the 'lugs' from the molds from which they were cast. A common condition, and they were often used as such. What size are they. I guess they are pistol, or hunting rifle shot between .40 and .50" bore?

    regards

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  2. Cheers John, yes I was well happy with the ring.
    Regarding the musket balls I think you are right in that they are pistol balls. They are a lot smaller than the ones I usually find, these are just under 15mm diameter.

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  3. It is not a 'lug', but a sprue

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  4. Ahhhh, so the correct term is a Sprue. Lug was close enough, but I was miles out with Knobbly Bits.

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  5. I suppose it depends how you look at the object as an artefact, "knobbly bits" is really talking about the intended function, if projectiles they would not fly as accurately as smoother ones, but sprue is the terminology connected with their manufacture. But if they'd actually been fired, I'd have expected the "knobbly bits" to be scuffed. So it looks as if somebody was disturbed while making a batch and dropped/left them, or perhaps he threw those away in disgust as 'too knobbly to use". Anyway, interesting.

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  6. Sorry Janner, but I can no longer contribute to you otherwise excellent blog in the knowledge I am sharing a common platform with Paul Barford.

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    1. A very childish comment John, Paul was just adding a bit of relevant information. I kow there are grievances but why the need to air them on someone else's blog ?

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  7. Interesting stuff regarding the musket balls. Never found any that look like they have come "straight out of the mould"

    As for your last comment John H, I do hope that was said as a bit of a joke? I may not agree with everything Paul says or has said in the past, but posted above in black & white is a comment that certainly has my mind thinking.
    We will never know the exact reason why those musket balls were discarded or lost, but Pauls post at the very least makes me look at them from a slightly different angle.

    Posts like yours John are the exact reason why most metal detectorist will never share any type of common ground with Archaeologists. Nice one, and thanks for that.

    Anyhow, Great finds Janner, keep up the good work. :)

    Jordan

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  8. I keep looking at those "musket balls" Janner, can you post some more pictures of the Sprue area and the area where the cast has been broken off please.
    I dont understand why you would end up with upto 3 sprues on one musket ball. Assuming that they would be cast in rows you would expect a maximum of two sprues per musket ball, ie 12 oclock and 6 oclock position.
    Did the moulds have multiple rows like a traditional bar of chocolate? .That would explain the sprues at 90 deg angles. If this is/was the case why do the sprues look so different?? Some look untouched while others as in the one on the far right clearly look like its been snapped or broken off.
    Sorry to be a pain Janner :)

    Jordan.

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  9. Me again...Sorry :)

    The brake in the silver ring looks very neat from the picture, Was it possibly cut on purpose to fit a smaller finger having been handed down to someone else?? Or maybe it was lost more than once and the first time it was found, the lucky finder had smaller fingers??

    Jordan.

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  10. And one more for good luck, found some info on the token for you Janner :) Nice find matey, well done.

    http://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/614596

    Jordan.

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    1. Also found in the "Plymouth area" which I believe is your neck of the woods Janner.

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    2. Hi Jordan, as soon as I take a couple of more shots of those musket balls I will put them up. That break in the ring is a neat cut, I never thought about it being done on purpose for a smaller finger.
      Thanks for that info on the lead token, chuffed with that, seems well old and to think it was at roughly the same depth as those decimal coins.

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  11. Hi regarding the musket balls. I have found one exactly the same. I've recently found a mold on ebay that would produce balls like these. Commonly used for use in catapults. (Search ball mold)
    If a mold exists now of this set up, did one exist way back when? Would love to know if these are modern or old.

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    1. I remember reading somewhere that old lead eventually turns a white colour over a long time in the ground. Looking at my many musket balls I've found there are many whitish ones, and as the ones above in the pic are dark makes me think that they are quite modern.

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