Sunday, July 25, 2010

What is it?

I spent the weekend moving shrubs and other plants from the front of the house and I unearthed this very oxidized piece of metal. Any idea what it is?
I also found quite a few shards of blue transferware. I have to wonder why they're buried in the yard. I'd love to figure out what pattern it is and when it was made.

So, do you have idea what the metal piece is?

I had a suspicion and it took me a little bit of time on the internet to find one that's similar.

I believe it's part of shutter hinge, called a pintle or pintel.

I think it's a pretty good indication my house originally had shutters which is great. I was planning to add them eventually and it's nice to know they were an original detail.


  1. Great research!!! Finding artefacts around the property is so exciting. We didn't find much here...mostly old tires and stoves that the previous owners didn't want to transport to the dump!

    But artefacts like yours are so lovely and provide such a wonderful sense of history about the people who lived there before you.

    Quite fascinating!


  2. hi steve,

    pretty interesting the things you find around old places. we were told that people used to throw things down the outhouse and that's why you find bits and pieces here and there. i don't know if it's true but if it is, yuck.

    will your shutters be working shutters or decorative?


  3. Great finds! We find occasional pieces of crockery around here too. I wonder if something broke they just threw it out the window?

  4. I love the discoveries. And I like the idea of shutters - given that they were original to the house - it's a great restoration.

  5. Depending on how far from the house you found the items, it probably was from the privy or outhouse. Even unbroken items were often put down the hole. There are actually people that go around asking for permission to dig in areas where there was an outhouse. This is just the first link I saw.

    Think NYT had a feature on it several years back and maybe "Country Living"? I remember something about yellowware from privies.

    Anyway, always a pleasure to read your blog. Happy digging!

  6. I guess the outhouse stories are a good reason to wear gardening gloves! The hinge was found at the front of the house right under the front windows. The pottery has been found at the back corner of the property. I think the house behind me was built over the original outhouse but it's certainly possible it was at this back corner later on. I almost want to get a metal detector.

  7. I LOVE finding hidden Treasures!!

  8. Obsess much? Why yes. Here's the NYT article. Sadly, the great series of pics are not showing up.