Artifacts in Focus

Artifact of the Month: September 2016

Photo Credit: Rich Veit

This is a wine bottle seal from Somerset, New Jersey. Would love to know the manufacturer. If you have any information, please forward comments to the ASNJ webmaster at thilliard@rgaincorporated.com with subject heading "ASNJ."


UPDATE 11/29/2016

An ASNJ supporter Alicia Batko discovered a similar bottle seal online in a collector's forum. This seal was excavated in eastern North Carolina along with other 18th Century artifacts. Scott Ford, the owner of the bottle, reached out to the Webmaster of www.BottleBooks.com. His inquiry received the following response:

"Scott, The crowns on your seal certainly suggest a European connection.  The seal appears to be made of four quadrants. I found only one early seal that consisted of a similar organization. From what I can gather, your seal is probably a coat of arms.  I am going to guess that it might not be as old as you suggest. I checked in Antique Wine Bottles by Roger Dumbrell.  He lists hundreds of seals, although none like yours.  In fact, all of the seals of the 17th and 18th centuries were much rounder and not one of them was a squared shaped like yours.   I cannot tell from the picture what the remaining glass attached to the seal is like.  I am looking for some hint of where on the bottle the seal might have been attached (neck, shoulder or body).  Its location might provide a clue to the age.  Going out on a limb, I am going to suggest your seal might be late 19th century rather than 18th.  Numerous wines and olive oils were made with applied seals in the 1880s.  Maybe a reader will help out.  Digger" (Bottle Books 2007).

Artifact of the Month: June 2016

This bifurcate point was found by Larry Ledrick in Gloucester County, NJ. Mr. Ledrick displayed this point along with all the other artifacts he has found at this site during the 19th annual artifact show hosted by the Gloucester County Chapter of the ASNJ on May 5, 2016 at the West Deptford Public Library. Mr. Ledrick has been collecting this one site for 25 years. The bifurcate point appears to be made from orthoquartzite. Orthoquartzite is a type of material used by Native Americans in the Chesapeake Bay region and is not commonly found in artifact collections from New Jersey.

Artifact of the Month: May 2016

Photo Credit: Matt Kalos and Wendy Miervaldis

This artifact was found during the Summer 2015 excavations along the foundation of the Bowen House located in Paoli Battlefield Historic Park, Malvern, PA.  The artifact is approximately 7.5 cm long and is made from a copper alloy. It is believed to be one blade of a pair of tea tongs, or sugar scissors, which were popular in the mid to late 18th Century. Of particular interest are the "bull's eye" hinge and clam shell tip. These show an attempt by the artisan to imitate certain style characteristics of more expensive silver tea tongs which were being produced in both Europe and America at that time.  (Submitted by Matt Kalos and Wendy Miervaldis)

Artifact of the Month: April 2016

Photo Credit: Jesse Walker

This ceramic disc was found at the Hoffman Site (28GL228) in 1997. Ceramic discs were made by Native Americans. It appears to have a fabric impressed surface treatment and may date to the Woodland period. Archaeological excavations were conducted at the site over a 13-year period by Guy Digiugno and the Gloucester County Chapter of the ASNJ. The multi-component site contains dense archaeological deposits dating primarily from the Late Archaic to Late Woodland periods. A summary article about the site has recently been submitted for publication in the Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of New Jersey.

Artifact of the Month: March 2016

Photo Credit: Jack Cresson

This month's artifact is rather unusual. These masonry bricks were found in Gibbsboro, New Jersey. These bricks are made of flint. If you have found something similar at another site or if you have any additional information about this type of artifact, please forward your comments to ASNJ's webmaster at asnjwebmaster@gmail.com, subject heading "ASNJ."

Artifact of the Month: January 2016

Photo Credit: Steve Santucci

West Morris Mendham History Club Archaeological Dig with Sean McHugh, Wendy Miervaldis and Steve Santucci. The site is noted to have been constructed sometimes in the early 1750s as a tavern in Chester! The scene here is Sean taking the lead in directing students in digging the test pit for the builders trench. We look forward to heading back to the site in Spring. (Above left, left to right) Artifacts include yellowware, bottle glass and redware with manganese glaze. 

Photo Credit: Steve Santucci

Submitted by: 

Steve Santucci
West Morris Mendham HS history teacher

2nd NJ regiment, Maxwell's Brigade of the Continental line
Adjutant/reenactor


Do you have an artifact photo? Please send it to ASNJ's Webmaster, at asnjwebmaster@gmail.com, subject heading "ASNJ" with a brief description of the photo and name of the photographer.

Artifact of the Month: December 2015

Photograph by Allison A. Gall

Artifacts found below an 1820s-1840s summer house associated with the 19th-century St. Mary's Hall female Episcopalian Seminary in Burlington City, Burlington County, New Jersey. The artifacts include glass tubes from the science lab (A), tobacco pipe stem (B), a Catholic ivory rosary bead (C), a faux gem glass love token given by one student to another that says "Love To Thee" (D), a perfume stopper (E), a writing slate with scored lines (F), slate pencils (G), perfume bottle (H). The site contained important information about education and boarding school life at a 19th-century female seminary. (Description by Michael J. Gall)

Artifact of the Month: October 2015

Photograph by Allison Gall

Decorative copper alloy plate to a Revolutionary War-era ammunition cartridge box associated with the Fusilier Regiment Erbprinz showing the crowned lion of Hess.   This artifact was likely part of a decorative plate on a Hessian artillery cartridge box from the Fusilier Regiment Erbprinz and was found in a well at an 18th-century farmstead in Manalapan, New Jersey near Monmouth Battlefield.  While no skirmishes were reported on the site, the Battle of Monmouth was fought in 1778 roughly one mile northeast of the site and it may have been collected by one of the site occupants as a battle souvenir.

Artifact of the Month: September 2015

Fragment of an 18th-century wine bottle seal from EU 2N.

Photographer: Richard Veit; Date: April 9, 2012.

This fragment of an 18th-century wine bottle seal was recovered from EU 2N during Monmouth University’s 2011 Field School at White Hill Mansion in Fieldsboro, NJ.  The seal is marked with the partial date, either 54 or 64, presumably 1754 or 1764, which coincided with Robert Field, Sr.’s ownership and occupation of the site. Seals of this nature are normally associated with individuals of wealth(White and Beaudry 2009:216) and were symbols of identity, particularly male identity (Veit and Huey 2014).

Veit, Richard and Paul R. Huey
2014       “New Bottles Made with My Crest”: Colonial Bottle Seals from Eastern North America, a Gazetteer and Interpretation.  Northeast Historical Archaeology 43:54-91. 

White, C. L. and M.C. Beaudry 
2009    Artifacts and Personal Identity.  In International Handbook of Historical Archaeology, ed. by Teresita Majewski and David Gaimster, pp. 209-219, Springer, New York.


"Do you have an artifact or object you'd like to submit to ASNJ's "Artifact of the Month" website posting? If so, please send a photograph, a brief description and a photo credit to asnjwebmaster@gmail.com, subject heading: ‘ASNJ Artifact’." - ASNJ Webmaster

Artifact of the Month: July 2015

Photo Credit: Jo Grabas Sr.

This month's artifact is a jasper tear drop projectile point, recovered from Turkey Swamp State Park during Monmouth University's 2015 field school season. This is a prehistoric artifact.  The point was one of several exciting finds discovered this season. The park plans to eventually erect a display that will show several artifacts recovered from the park. Field school instructors and staff will analyze the data collected during the season over the next year.

Artifact of the Month: June 2015

Photo Credit: Dr. Rich Veit

This month’s artifact is from a local museum display, located at Historic Walnford in Crosswicks, New Jersey.  The Monmouth County Parks website has this to say about Walnford

“Picturesque after a snowfall, full of fascinating history throughout the year, any day is a great time to visit this wonderful historic site and learn more about the Waln family and the evolution of Walnford over two centuries - from an 18th century industrial village and family farm to an elegant country estate. At the heart of the Crosswicks Creek Park (1436 acres), the site showcases over 200 years of social, technological and environmental history through the Waln family.”

Photo Credit: Dr. Rich Veit

In the nineteenth-century a German officer was traveling through the area with two other officers. They approached a creek on the property and decided to wade through to the other side.  One of the officers became separated from his horse during the crossing after his horse suddenly sank into a hole in the creek. The two eventually made their way back to shore, it was then that the officer noticed he had lost a spur during the ordeal. The boy who witnessed this event eventually grew into an old man and would later discover a spur during a construction project along the same creek.  This spur is on display at the Walnford museum along with corresponding letters which describe these first-hand accounts.

Special thanks to Dr. Rich Veit for this Artifact of the Month submission.

Do you have an artifact or object you'd like to submit to ASNJ’s "Artifact of the Month" website posting? If so, please send a photograph, a brief description and a photo credit to asnjwebmaster@gmail.com, subject heading: “ASNJ Artifact”.

Thank you!

 

Artifact of the Month: May 2015

Photo Credit: Allison Gall

This curious object is a scale weight. This weight could have been used by merchants to weigh money. Apothecaries once used similar weights to weigh medicinal herbs or other ingredients. This artifact dates to the 18th century and is associated with the Verree family of Burlington City, NJ.

Special thanks to Michael and Allison Gall for this Artifact of the Month submission.

Do you have an artifact or object you'd like to submit to ASNJ's "Artifact of the Month" website posting? If so, please send a photograph, brief description and a photo credit to asnjwebmaster@gmail.com, subject heading- “ASNJ Artifact”.

Thank you!