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Brass escutcheon from late 1700's/early 1800's site, oval with 2 holes - from 18th century firearm???


New member
Hi all,

I found this oval brass escutcheon with two holes in it from a site in SWPA where I've been finding many (about 30+ so far) 1785-1800 era copper alloy flat buttons/dandy buttons and tombac buttons, a really nice 1790 4 Reales and a 1787 1/2 Real, New Jersey Copper, 1802 large cent, silver washed brass shoe buckle frame, and a brass neck stock clasp. So everything points to a site that is probably late 1780's to maybe War of 1812; some hints in local written accounts that there was a tavern in the immediate area operating in the War of 1812. This brass escutcheon was only a few feet from the neck stock clasp and the 1787 1/2 Real. I suspect it might be from an late 1700's or very early 1800's rifle, musket, or pistol, but I don't have a clue. Doesn't seem to be from furniture and it's not a piece from a drawer pull. I should've measured it before I posted and it is at home and I'm at work, but I'd estimate it's length is about 2 inches (I'll try to measure & put up dimensions), maybe a little thinner than a large cent. If anyone has any insight or better yet a specific ID I would really appreciate it. Thanks in advance!


Well-known member
I have found very similar items in northeast pa from properties of the same guess would be some sort of decoration off of horse tack..just a find...


New member
Thanks for the info, bootyhound! That sounds like a good guess, maybe a tag or plate off a saddle or other horse tack. On a whim I emailed the curator for NRA's museum and he responded this AM and said that it didn't appear to be any kind of firearm escutcheon or decorative embellishment, so can most likely rule out that idea. I've looked at a lot of period furniture online and can't seem to find anything similar there that doesn't involve a keyhole or drawer pull, same with powder horns etc., so your guess may well be on the right track. Thanks again, and will let you know if I find out anything.


New member
You are correct, and I think I finally found it - "oval brass harness boss" ! Check out page 318 (Fig. 6.41) and 317 of the following link re: UNC archaeology at late 1700's Ayers Town Native American site:

Thanks again!!


New member
Oops, you're right, I was off by 100 -- it's page 218 & 217. Happy hunting and I hope you'll find more good Colonial/Federal era stuff diagonally across the state from me in northeast PA.