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Jason Baxter




Location: Ypsilanti, MI
Joined: 11 Sep 2010

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat 11 Sep, 2010 5:53 pm    Post subject: Civil War flail/Morning Star?         Reply with quote

When I was about 12 years old (early 80s) I lived in downtown Fairfax, Virginia the site of the Battle of Fairfax Courthouse and a campsite for Mosby's Raiders during the U.S Civil War. I was searching for crayfish in the creek and I found the business end of a flail or morning star. It's cast iron and the chain doesn't look like it 'goes' with the ball. It was completely encrusted in rust when I found it.

Any idea on a better identification, the age, or what the heck it was doing in a creek in an area steeped in civil war history?!?!? Photo's attached.

thanks a million!

Jason



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Karl Knisley




PostPosted: Sat 11 Sep, 2010 6:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello
It might have been attached ,to another ball,they used that kind of thing, in cannons, to tear stuff up.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,835

PostPosted: Sat 11 Sep, 2010 6:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Karl Knisley wrote:
Hello
It might have been attached ,to another ball,they used that kind of thing, in cannons, to tear stuff up.

Hi Karl,

Chain shot and bar shot are regarded as having been primarily for naval use, would be larger bore and would have no need of spikes to be effective as artillery.

Jason,

I think there is a tendency to regard any object from Virginia not easily identified as American Civil War use and that trend ranges from interesting to laughable. This may be more on the interesting side but I would wager a virtual beer it has nothing to do with it being found in Virginia where obviously Mosby did operate. I wonder how many trees might have been dampened by the man and still exist as chunks of bark with a story. Wink

One site/forum has been useful to me and I have exchanged some interesting chats is
http://forum.treasurenet.com/index.php?action=forum

Not surprisingly, when I gave them a heads up regarding an aluminum handled knife found in the dirt was obviously civil war and a rare dagger. Even more disturbing was my emailing the dealer that had listed it for sale and he sent back an email stating "yup, that's our girl! Buy all you can find!!)





While locations of finds can be interesting and may lend help in IDs and provenance, it is a backwards philosophy in using location and historical background as a basis to id just about anything.

Cheers

GC
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,306

PostPosted: Sat 11 Sep, 2010 7:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry, but it's a modern-made "wall hanger", probably made in Asia somewhere but they used to be cranked out in Europe as well. I've got a very similar one. Give it one good swing, and yes, the ball will no longer have anything to do with the chain! Could be as much as 10 or 15 years old, I suppose, but from its condition it might have arrived in the creek only a week or so ago...

Matthew
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Jason Baxter




Location: Ypsilanti, MI
Joined: 11 Sep 2010

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat 11 Sep, 2010 7:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks everyone. I appreciate the feedback. After doing some more research I tend to agree that this was ornamental.

This is at least 27 years old though as I found it in '82 or '83. Also, it was completely encrusted in rust when I found it.
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Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
Joined: 16 Nov 2005
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 447

PostPosted: Sun 12 Sep, 2010 8:00 am    Post subject: hilarious         Reply with quote

Glen,
that is just too funny !
I am reminded of a jeweller friend of mine who assembled the jaw of an alligator, with the cranium of some type of bovine and added gazelle swirled horns for good measure. It was done impeccably, so you couldn't tell the one from the other... so people at Pennsic would stare and every now and then one would ask : What is this? Our standard answer was : I don't know, comes from out in the badlands somewhere, and we have yet to find a similar creature... That is when, every now and then, someone would exclaim: My, but it sure looks like the skull of some dragon... Do you think so???... Why, yeah!... and so on
He made a mold and has sold some in Japan.
bur your civil war naked lady knife( made in China or Pakistan) is up there too. Good one. JC

Bon coeur et bon bras
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,835

PostPosted: Sun 12 Sep, 2010 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi JC,

The Korium daggers and knives of this ad were German made and popular in magazine ads in the 1950s and 1960s. Later, some of these were also made in Japan. The three from the ad still often show up on Ebay and I had picked up one of the claw and ball daggers some time ago. Those were sometimes originally advertised showing the tip piercing a coin. I had actually been (and still am) looking for German made Jowika examples. It was during that more recent search I remembered the dealer listing with the dug artifact lady. The dealer did include mention his obtaining it at a show table with the story.

The moral of the civil war sales and stories is what any need to keep in mind when looking for id or appraisal. or indeed, looking to buy something due to the story.

Cheers

btw, while the handles on the German examples are allow and plate, the blades are quite superior steel.
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
Likes: 16 pages

Posts: 354

PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2010 7:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Sorry, but it's a modern-made "wall hanger", probably made in Asia somewhere but they used to be cranked out in Europe as well. I've got a very similar one. Give it one good swing, and yes, the ball will no longer have anything to do with the chain! Could be as much as 10 or 15 years old, I suppose, but from its condition it might have arrived in the creek only a week or so ago...

Matthew


Indeed, but these were also made in Spain, at least eversince WWII onwards.

Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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