Category Archives: Ask a Curator

Glass Mystery Object Follow-Up: An Inkstand?

For those of you who saw our previous post about the glass mystery object from Saratoga National Historical Park (see Ask A Curator:  Mystery Glass Object) , we’d like to share this photograph as a follow-up.  In our opinion, the fragment in … Continue reading

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Ask A Curator: Mystery Glass Object

While cataloging an archeology collection from Saratoga National Historical Park, we have come across this mysterious glass object.  The object is circular, 2 inches in diameter, with an inward folded edge and compressed exterior.  This artifact was excavated from the rear kitchen … Continue reading

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Ask A Curator: Rectangular Bale Seal

Lead bale seals were used from the 1300s through the 1800s to indicate inspection of goods shipped in bales.  These seals were used by government officials to denote quality control or taxation status, or by private merchants to impart information … Continue reading

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Cataloging 101: Lead Glazed Redware vs. Jackfield

Following last week’s post, There’s Jackfield Afoot, I received the following question: How do you tell the difference between lead glazed redware and Jackfield? Since I asked this question when I was learning to catalog, I thought others may be … Continue reading

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Oval Bottle Identification

Can you help us to learn more about this oval-based “bastard” bottles? We’ve recently contacted the Histarch Listserv and received some great feedback, but we are hoping to learn even more about this unique bottle. Have you come across oval bottles … Continue reading

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Ask a Curator: Victorian Brass Weight

This week’s Ask a Curator object doesn’t have a definitive answer, but it’s a great example of the process behind cataloging an object. When we came across this artifact, we had a little help. It had already been conserved and … Continue reading

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Ask a Curator – Whirligig

This little artifact proved to me the value of “accidental research.”  During cataloging, I was initially stumped by this thin, vaguely round bit of lead.  I haltingly classified it as an “unidentified metal object,” but was haunted by the two … Continue reading

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Ask a Curator Time – Insulator from Knob and Tube Wiring

This week’s Ask a Curator object is an insulator from knob and tube wiring. Look at the insulator at the top of this photo from Wikipedia (below left) – notice any similarities between this one and the one we found in the Fort McHenry collection (below … Continue reading

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Ask A Curator – Apollo 11 Commemorative Key Ring

The most recent edition of Ask a Curator is a perfect example of how curators can use crowd-sourcing and social media to identify objects and add additional information to the catalog records. So what is it? This week’s Ask a Curator object … Continue reading

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Ask a Curator – Military Button

You guessed it – it’s a military button. The button is a Regiment of Artillerists, 2nd Regiment button dating to c. 1811-1813. A brief history of Fort McHenry While Fort McHenry was an important naval base during the American Revolution … Continue reading

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