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  #1  
Old 06-02-2020, 09:48 AM
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Default Early Jew's Harp (Jaw Harp)

The local garden club invited me and a couple friends to metal detect around an old cellar hole on their preserve. Maps of the site show two homesteads predating the 1776 publishing date of the map. The property has been used for recreation and picnicking since the early 60's when the garden club acquired the site. Given that usage, there are a lot of cross-century contamination on the site: bottle caps, pull tabs, etc. Even so, it was very exciting to find these two artifacts, presumably dating back to the mid-1700's/early-1800's.

Found an interesting archeological article about the Jew's Harp (Jaw Harp):

https://www.mackinacparks.com/jaw-harps/

Cannot determine the purpose of the tiny brass 'fancy' artifact. On the right edge of the piece there is a tubular channel. Perhaps the artifact is a fragment of a small hinge or clasp. Any better ideas?

After photographing and researching these relics, I am returning them to the garden club with their promise to preserve and share them with the local community. I am looking forward to returning to the site to see what else we can discover.

Happy Hunting!
--Bert
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:23 AM
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Nice finds Doc... Good of you to turn them over to the garden club. Nice photos too.

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  #3  
Old 06-02-2020, 11:15 AM
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Thanks for the link Bert!

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Old 06-02-2020, 02:09 PM
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good show & good sleuthing work.
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Old 06-02-2020, 05:52 PM
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If you don't use the harp right the first time, the dentist will love you long time.

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Old 06-02-2020, 11:49 PM
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A clasp would be my guess too. From a small jewelry box or even diary or journal. Good job representing the hobby positively in your community!

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Old 06-03-2020, 07:58 PM
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Before you give it to the club, play a little ditty with it, and give us a vid! You know, like when someone digs a bell, and rings it for the first time many decades. Always a joy!
The musical instrument is a very cool dig!
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  #8  
Old 06-09-2020, 09:30 AM
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Default Update! Purpose of fancy fragment discovered!

UPDATE! After some research I have discovered what may have been the purpose of the small, fancy metal fragment. It appears to be from a 'book cover latch' as might have been used to secure a Bible or other special book closed.

Sometimes the post-dig research is exciting and rewarding...

Happy Hunting!
--Bert
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Old 06-09-2020, 10:38 AM
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Nice ID on that item!!

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  #10  
Old 06-10-2020, 08:57 PM
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Yes, nice ID.
Thanks for the follow up.
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  #11  
Old 06-11-2020, 03:05 PM
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Hmm, sort of looks like a jaw harp but I don't see where the little spring part that you pluck would go. It could be a tuning fork maybe?

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  #12  
Old 06-11-2020, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by NickelPlate View post
Hmm, sort of looks like a jaw harp but I don't see where the little spring part that you pluck would go. It could be a tuning fork maybe?
Almost all the Jaw harps I have seem posted did not have the 'reed' since it is thin and had rusted away.
Some with Harmonica reeds. Frame but rarely have the reeds.
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