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Found in the mud
Lens: Sigma 17-70mm Camera: K-30 Photo Location: Looavull, KY 
Posted By: gjtoth, 05-17-2014, 10:01 AM

What is it?

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05-17-2014, 10:47 AM   #2
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I don't know what it is apart from very interesting.

If I use my engineering knowledge and a bit of deduction I can tell you that it is brass, made from two parts with the flat portion soldered to the main body. The two engraved rings appear to be purely decorative but could actually serve a purpose if they have deformed the inner surface in which case they could act as a friction 'grip' if this part fits over another part.

It's hard to tell from the image if it is circular or oval in cross-section (or possibly circular that's been squashed into an oval by damage). The ragged end is also interesting and I can't make my mind up if it is a design feature or if it is damage caused by a stress fracture and the part was originally much longer.

The fact that this is a macro shot with no way of determining dimensions makes it difficult to judge scale and therefore usage. If I had to make a guess I would say it was either a cap from an old fountain pen or a decorative end from a cord (probably a clothing part or perhaps a 'boot-lace' tie) depending on what the overall size of the piece turns out to be.

I don't know if you know what it is but I would certainly like more info on it.
05-17-2014, 10:55 AM   #3

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My guess (without knowing the dimensions) would be a refurbished (sword) scabbard tip.
05-17-2014, 11:20 AM   #4
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The broken end looks to me more like a tear (as in ripped apart) than a stress fracture. Is brass (?) susceptible to stress fractures? I don't think we ever covered brass in engineering. It's not an engineering material, but I suppose it would be interesting to explore its properties.

What does the end of the fracture zone look like? With brittle fracture in steel, you can see the progression of the fracture in the surface. You'd expect to see a grainy area in the centre and a torn area at the circumference where it finally let go.

It could be a scabbard tip.


05-17-2014, 11:30 AM   #5
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05-17-2014, 12:19 PM   #6
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Having looked at some of the images from the above link I have to revise my initial guesses and say that it does indeed look like a brass scabbard tip. There are some very similar looking ones in terms of shape but the ones shown appear to be iron or steel and not brass. Maybe this one was from an officer's scabbard and the iron/steel ones from a regular soldier's scabbard. The similar shaped ones I found all seemed to date from the American Civil War period.

On a side note my wife is the proud, current possessor, of a sword used in the Battle of Queenston Heights which was the first major battle in the War of 1812 between Britain and America. The sword has been handed down through the family, generation by generation, and used to belong to her great-great-great-great-grandfather who was a soldier during the battle. He was a 'turncoat' i.e. someone who started the war fighting for the Americans but then switched sides. By the time of the Battle of Queenston Heights he was already fighting for the British and there is a family rumour that he was Sir Isaac Brock's bugler but this theory has never been proven. Unfortunately the sword is not in the best of condition (due to the ravages of time) and the scabbard has long since disappeared and no-one currently alive can ever remember it having one. Our kids loved taking it into school when they covered the War of 1812 in their grade school history lessons, being able to show something that was actually used in the war was always a big hit with their class-mates. My youngest daughter has already laid claim to it when the time comes to pass it on!
05-18-2014, 08:23 AM   #7
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How large (or small) is it?
I too think it may have come from the American Civil War.
05-18-2014, 08:24 AM   #8

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It's a Kazoo. A primitive musical instrument.

05-18-2014, 08:39 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
It's a Kazoo. A primitive musical instrument.
Now that is funny - especially if it were true !
05-18-2014, 10:39 AM   #10
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Well, it's NOT a kazoo. It is, in fact, a saber scabbard tip. A replica. Found it in the mud at the reenactment of the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House in one of the CSA bivouac sites.

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