Tuesday 28 February 2017

Crown and Anchor Dice Game.

Dice Players By Giuseppe Maria Crespi. 

The dice game known as Crown and Anchor has been known since the early 18th century, & was apparently a favourite game played by seamen.

Approx. 17.5 x 17 inches. Hand painted gambling board for the  game of Crown and Anchor. It dates c. late 18th century and was found in an old wood box of effects with the stamps on the box of the American ship Lydia of Boston, under Captain Samuel Hill.

Crown and Anchor dice 1800-1900 ad.

A Sailors Scrimshaw Gambling Dice Carved from a Sperm Whale Tooth
With designs for a heart, crown, club, spades, anchor and diamond, inlaid with pitch and red wax
Early 19th Century.

17th century leather dice shaker c. 1680 to c. 1720 English.

Wooden Dice Box 18th Century (National Museums of Scotland).

English crown and anchor board, early to mid 19th century, circa 1830 – 1870.

I believe this is a representation of the game board used by the French and Belgian's; the sun replacing the crown.

Crown and Anchor Dice game Rules.
Rules of play
The game is played between a player and a banker. A canvas or felt mat marked with the six symbols is used for play. The player places bets on one or more symbols. He then throws the three dice. If there is a bet on any symbol which comes up on one or more of the dice, the banker pays the player the amount of his stake for each die showing that symbol: even money if one, 2:1 if two, and 3:1 if three. If the symbol doesn't come up, the player loses his bet.
On average, the player will win 92.1% of the amount he bets; that is, over time he will lose 7.9% of whatever he bets. Thus, the banker has a substantial edge. In a game at a festival or casino, the house will be banker. In a game among friends, each person serves as banker in turn.
 There is a similar Flemish version called Anker en Zon ("Anchor and Sun"), in which a sun symbol replaces the crown. The French version again uses the sun, and is called Ancre, Pique, et Soleil ("Anchor, Spade, and Sun"). 

This game with it's cloth board would be very easily carried in ones knapsack. Perhaps with the attached images above you may be able to make your own board & dice. Wood, bone or antler I think would be acceptable for the dice, and oilcloth or canvas for the board.

The Newcomers By Robert Griffing.

The Newcomers By Robert Griffing.

A Little Help from the Sun By Robert Griffing.

A Little Help from the Sun By Robert Griffing.

Niagara Portage By Robert Griffing.

Niagara Portage By Robert Griffing.

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Blade Sharpening.

My Flintlock Won't Fire. Problem Solving.

Smoothbore flintlock with a leather hammer cap/boot/stall in place for extra safety. At the back of the pan you can see the vent in the breech of the barrel.

My Flintlock Won’t Fire!
My hammer/steel is not sparking.
Checks: Has your gun flint got a sharp edge?
Is the flint held securely in the jaws of the cock with either leather or sheet lead?
 Is your gun flint striking the hammer/steel about two thirds of the way up the steel? If it is striking too high or too low on the face of the steel, then try turning the flint over.
Other possible causes of not sparking are: A weak mainspring or a weak feather spring. The steel may be too soft or too hard. The rear lock retaining screw may be too long and; putting pressure on the cock.
Solutions: Replace the spring. Replace the steel/hammer. You could try a file on the edge of your hammer/steel to see if it is hard or soft. If it files easily then it is too soft and needs to be replaced or re hardened. To re harden, heat to cherry red and quench in room temperature water.
If the steel/hammer is too hard, then it needs annealing (made softer). To do this, heat to cherry red and cool slowly. When it is cool you can try it and; see if it will spark. The steel may now be too soft to spark. If it will not spark, repeat the process by heating to cherry red & then quench in room temperature water. Slacken off the rear lock plate retaining screw and see if the hammer moves more freely. If it does, remove the screw, screw on a correct sized nut, file a little from the length of the screw. Take off the nut & try the screw in the lock plate. Repeat if the screw is still too long.
My flintlock is sparking, but it is shattering gun flints.
Checks: Your mainspring may be too strong, or the feather spring may be too strong. Make sure your steel/hammer tail moves freely on the feather spring and is (a) not tight on its pivot screw, and (b) has no lumps or rough spots on the tail where it moves over the feather spring.

Solutions: Replace springs. Free up the hammer/steel on the pivot screw if it is too tight. Use a whet stone to smooth rough or lumpy areas on the tail where it moves over the feather spring.
The priming is igniting but not firing the main charge.
Checks: None ignition; The vent in the barrel has been drilled into the breech plug, or the breech plug is covering the vent.
Solution: Check with a thin wire to find the direction in which the vent has been drilled & to see if it goes right through into the barrel. On my fusil I found that the vent was partially blocked by the breech plug. To remedy this I drilled through the vent with a slightly larger drill bit at an angle away from the breech plug. Then I used a countersink bit in the entrance of the vent. I suggest that you do not use a drill bit any larger than 1/8th”.
Slow ignition: 1) Check above solution 2) the vent hole may be too small 3) the vent hole may be filling with gunpowder 4) the vent hole may have been drilled too high. The vent should be level with the top of the pan.
Solution: 1) check the solutions above 2) try using a countersink bit to widen the vent entrance 3) you may need to drill out the vent with a slightly larger drill bit 4) you can use a vent quill when loading to keep the vent clear 5) you can clear the vent with your pricker before priming 6) don’t use too much priming, you only need a small amount in the pan.7) if the vent has been drilled too high, you can either tap the vent and screw a plug in and then drill a new vent hole, or you could try just widening the entrance with a countersink bit. The other alternative is to take it to a gunsmith and have him install a vent liner.
Vent Liner.

Tips for good ignition:
1.      After firing and before reloading, brush out the burnt residue from the pan if you plan to be leaving your gun loaded for a while.
2.    Use your pricker to clear the vent before priming, or, place a vent quill in the vent before loading.
3.    Make sure your gun flint has a sharp edge. If the edge is dull, either knap it or change the flint for a new one.
4.   Each time you discharge your gun, give the hammer/steel face a quick wipe to keep it clean.
5.    In damp weather use a cow’s knee leather lock cover.
6.   If it is raining, grease the edges of the pan to keep the wet out & grease between hammer/steel & barrel. Use a greased leather lock cover.
7.    Don’t overfill the pan when priming, only a small amount of gunpowder is required.
A- Lock plate
B- Feather of Hammer spring
C- Hammer spring screw
D-Mainspring retainer stud
E- Hammer spring
F- Tail of Hammer
G- Hammer pivot screw
H- Hammer
I-Face of Hammer
J- Pan
K- Flash guard
L- Cock
M- Lower Cock jaw
N- Upper Cock jaw
O- Cock jaw screw
P- Sear spring screw tip
Q- Tail of lock plate
R- Sear pivot screw tip
S- Tumbler screw.

A-Upper limb of mainspring
B- Lower limb of mainspring
C- Mainspring retainer hook
D- Tumbler hook of mainspring
E- Cup of tumbler
F- Tail of Hammer
G- Tumbler axle/pivot
H- Hammer
I- Face of Hammer
J- Pan
K- Flash guard
L- Cock
M- Lower Cock jaw
N- Upper Cock jaw
O- Cock screw
P- Bridle
Q- Sear pivot screw

Please Note: If the gun is loaded, make sure it is pointed in a safe direction before attempting to knap the gun flint. It is highly unlikely to cause a spark and fire the gun, but better safe than sorry.

Tuesday 21 February 2017

17th Century Camp & Tactical Event. Daniel Benton Homestead.

19 May at 9:00 to 21 May at 16:00 EDT
160 Metcalf Road, Tolland, Connecticut 06084

2nd annual 17th C. encampment and tactical event, concentrating on the period of the Pequot through King Philip's War era. Native, English, and Dutch colonial impressions are welcome. Participants may arrive and set up after 9:00am on the 19th. For more information contact Tom Nedweden at 860-798-3747.

Gorham's Rangers Uniform. The reversible coat of 1761.

Description of Ranger deserters from Gorham’s Company of Rangers in 1761.
"clothed in the Uniform of the Company, viz. Coats, red turn'd up with brown, with brown Capes and brown Insides, which may be worn either Side out; Waistcoats of the brown Colour; Linnen Draws, leather Jockey-Caps, with Oak-Leaf or Branch painted on the left Side".
Five deserters from Major Gorham's Company. 'Boston News Letter' 1761.

Antique Gun Auction Australia.

Australian Arms Auctions P/L, Melbourne Australia wish to advise that our next auction, No.48, will be conducted at a NEW VENUE on:- 
Date:        Sunday 7th May 2017 at 10.00 am
Viewing:  Saturday 12 noon until 5 pm & Sunday 8 am until 10 am, auction start. 
Venue:   Veneto Club – Basketball Stadium. 191 Bulleen Road Bulleen 3105 Melways 32 9-D
Excellent onsite parking facilities.  Club restaurant & café available.

For those of you who have expressed an interest in submitting items for our May auction, please be advised that we are still accepting items.  Please contact us for further information ASAP.

A “catalogue online” advice will be sent to you in early April when it’s available to view online.

We thank you for past interest/purchases & we look forward to servicing your enquiries or bids for our up & coming auction.
Cheryl Martyn
Australian Arms Auctions Pty Ltd
P.O. Box 1142 Doncaster East Vic 3109
Roland Martyn  (61) 0428 54 33 77
Cheryl Martyn - Admin:  (61) 03 9848 7951
Fax: (61) 03 9840 7944

Wednesday 15 February 2017

18th Century Tin Kettles.

“GYPSIES” by J. Harris, London 1788.

In a previous post on this blog you will find a list of Indian trade goods, and in that list it states: "Brass & tinn Kettles large & Small". But of course these sizes are relative. The large tin kettles are almost as big as a water pail, so the small tin kettles are simply small in comparison to a pail, but not necessarily small enough to carry in a knapsack.
There are modern tinsmiths selling small tin kettles which they say are "based" on examples found in museums. By this they mean they are made to look roughly the same as the example in the museum. They may not be made of the same material, and they are often not the same size or shape.

Extant Tin Kettle This Early Specimen was Recovered From a Well at Fortress Louisbourg Smaller Size : 6” Tall by 8 3/4” Wide 3 Panel Body Construction with Single Riveted Flat Ears for Attaching the BaleCapacity: 1 Gallon, 1 Pint c. 1719 - 1768(Fortress Louisbourg NHS, Parks Canada)
This tin kettle is dated 1719-1768, but note that it is wider than it is tall. 6 inches tall is fine, but it is almost 9 inches wide. 

Tin Kettles or Pails with Flat Rectangular Crimped Dog Ears Found at Fort Ligonier & Reconstructions of the Same As Pictured in Neuman and Kravic’s “Collector’s Encyclopedia of the American Revolution” Heights Excluding Bales and Ears: 9 1/4” and 7 1/4” (Fort Ligonier Collection).

These look basically the same as ones being sold now, but again, look at the sizes. In this instance the width is not mentioned and it can be difficult to judge the width by the depth.
A Small Post Revolution British Tin Kettle Round Double Riveted Tin Ears, Iron Bale, and Tin Cover Sporting an Iron Ring Handle Provenance : 1st Foot Guards c.1800-1810(Armémuseum, Stockholm Sweden)
A smaller tin kettle that we are more used to seeing, but look at the date, it is 19th century.
Brass Sheet Metal Kettle, Likely FrenchFrom the Wreck of the Machault Sunk in the 1760 Battle of Restigouche in the Bay of Gaspé in Quebec Provincec. 1755 - 1760(Parks Canada)
So, if your period pre dates the American revolution, and you are looking for a small kettle to carry in your knapsack, I suggest you use one of the tin lined brass or copper kettles being offered by some of the present day traders.
A modern made tin lined brass cast trade kettle. Not the best example of what is available today, but it is closer than using the wrong size of tin kettle.

RECOVERING THE TINSMITH’S ART Tin artifacts are among the most fragile items from the site, but substantially perfect replicas can be copied from the scraps, using historic craft skills.

If anyone finds any more primary documentation in regards to pre American Revolution tin kettle sizes & shapes, I would be very pleased to hear from you.

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Indian Goods List.

By Frances Back.
My thanks to David Swampfox for this list of goods.

In Public Record Office, C.). 5.61, London, England. Enclosed in a letter of Amherst to William Pitt, February 27,1761
p.334-335 Sir William Johnson Papers

A list of goods intended for Northern tribes.

A List of Such merchandise as is Usually sold to the Indians — the prices differ with the times —

Deep blue Strowds with a narrow white cord
Plain Blue Strowds
Black Strowds
Scarlet or Aurora Do
Garterings and bindings for strouds of different sorts
French blankets, or twilled lettered white blankets
Purple & white french Rateen for Stockings
English white blanketsof 20-24-&30 to a piece with black or Deep blue stripes
Wals cottons, or Pennistons for stockings
Green Knapt Frize for Do: & also for Blankets
Red, Yellow, Green & blue halfthicks
Flowered serges, lively colours or gay
Calicoes, Claimancoes for gowns &ca
Ribbons of all sorts, especially deep red, yellow, blue & Green
Linnens & ready made Shirts of all Sizes
Light coloured & white threads
Needles sorted
Awl blades for making Indian Shoes
Scalping and Clasp knives
Vermillion and Verdigrease
Jews Harps small & large
Stone & plain rings
Hawks bells different Sizes
Small white Beeds & other coloured Do Small
Horn Combs different sizes
Brass wire different Sizes
Scizars & Razors
Looking Glasses….Different sorts
Brass & tinn Kettles large and Small
Women & Childrens Worsted & yarn hose with clocks
Roll of paper Tobacco. Also Leaf Do
Pipes long & Short
Red Leather Trunks in Nests
Black & white wampum in great demand
Silver works or toys, which the Indians wear of different kinds
Tomahawks or small hatchets well made
Also pipe Hatchets
Tobacco & Snuff boxes
Pewter Spoons
Gilt Gill Cups and half gill Do
Good Gunpowder, large grain
Small bar lead of 1-1/2 lb each
Goose, Duck & Pidgeon Shot
Light & Good Fowling pieces
Beaver & Fox Traps
Iron Spears or giggs for striking fish with & Beaver with
New England, or York rum in rumlets of Caggs of & 4 Gallns each
Note the mention of tin kettles large and small. More on this later.

Monday 13 February 2017

Wood Bison & Powder Horns.

"Woodland buffalo east of the Appalachians were hunted to extinction by the end of the 17th century, making their horns difficult if not impossible to obtain for powder horns.  Powder horns made from Woodland bison during the Colonial wars are unknown.  Most of the Woodland bison horns are plain.  Rare examples of these horns have a pattern of brass pins hammered into the butt plug of the horn.   Within a circle of pins there is a design of pins.  Based on Indian lore, Some researchers believe that the pattern of pins represent a constellation of stars visible on the night a baby was born, giving the child a lifetime sign".

Sunday 12 February 2017

Fort Ontario Launches History and Archaeology Conference.

Fort Ontario State Historic Site presents a new conference with a focus on Native American history, French and Indian War battles and campaigns, the archaeology of 17th and 18th century forts, the base side of soldiering during the War of 1812, and the African-American military experience. The Fort Ontario History and Archaeology Conference runs April 21 to 23.

Friday 10 February 2017

The prices of the skins in Canada, in the year 1749.

The Fur Trader By John Buxton.

The prices of the skins in Canada, in the year 1749, were communicated to me by M. de Couagne, a merchant at Montreal, with whom I lodged. They were as follows:
Great and middle sized bear skins, cost five livres.
Skins of young bears, fifty sols.
~~~~ lynxes, 25 sols.
~~~~ pichoux du sud, 35 sols.
~~~~ foxes from the southern parts, 35 sols.
~~~~ otters, 5 livres.
~~~~ racoons, 5 livres.
~~~~ martens, 45 sols.
~~~~ wolf-lynxes,  4 livres.
~~~~ wolves, 40 sols.
~~~~ carcajoux, an animal which I do not know, 5 livres.
Skins of visons, a kind of martens, which live in the water, 25 sols.
Raw skins of elks,  10 livres.
~~~~ stags. 
Bad skins of elks and stags,  3 livres.
Skins of roebucks, 25, or 30 sols.
~~~~ red foxes, 3 livres.
~~~~ beavers, 3 livres.
I will now insert a list of all the different kinds of skins, which are to be got in Canada, and which are sent from thence to Europe. I got it from one of the greatest merchants in Montreal. They are as follows:
Prepared roebuck skins, chevreuils passés.
Unprepared ditto, chevreuils verts.
Tanned ditto, chevreuils tanés.
Bears, ours.
Young bears, oursons.
Otters, loutres.
Cats, chats.
Wolves, loup de bois.
Lynxes, loups cerviers.
North pichoux, pichoux du nord.
South pichoux, pichoux du sud.
Red foxes, renards rouges.
Cross foxes, renards croisés.
Black foxes, renards noirs.
Grey foxes, renards argentés.
Southern, or Virginian foxes, renards du sud où de Virginie.
White foxes, from Tadoussac, renards blancs de Tadoussac.
Martens, martres.
Visons, or foutreaux.
Black squirrels, ecureuils noirs.
Raw stags skins, cerfs verts.
Prepared ditto, cerfs passés.
Raw elks skins, originals verts.
Prepared ditto, originals passées.
Rein-deer skins, cariboux.
Raw hinds skins, biches verts.
Prepared ditto, biches passées.
Musk rats, rats musques.
Fat winter beavers, castors gras d’hiver.
Ditto summer beavers, castors gras d’été.
Dry winter beavers, castors secs d’hiver.
Ditto summer beavers, castors secs d’été.
Old winter beavers, castors veiux d’hiver.
Ditto summer beavers, castors vieux d’été.’
Peter  Kalm Montreal 22nd September 1749.

Order from Sir William Johnson 1756-1757.

A Specification of the Quality and Quantity of Goods
necessary to be sent from London for the Northern
Indian department.
20, pcs. of blue narrow Cord Strowds
10, ditto. of Black ditto.
5, ditto. of Aurora, or Crimson ditto.
5, ditto. of common Red ditto.
200, Rolls of different Colours Gartering
200, ps. Gimps Suitable to the Strouds
300, Blankets made to sample every Way
300, ditto. Large enough for Women
400, ditto. for men something Larger,
6, pcs. of deep purple Ratteen
6, pcs. of White or uncolour’d d”.
6, ds. of Walsh Cottons
200, Mens Ruffled Shirts Buttons
200, ditto. plain
100, ditto. Smaller size and plain
100, ditto. for little Boys
20, Hanks of light Colour’d Thread
6, pcs. of Yellow half thicks
4, ditto. of Blue d”.
30, pcs. Strip’d Callimincoes, lively Colours
20, pcs. of Callicoes also Lively Colours
20, pcs. embors’d Serges ditto.
10, pcs. of Yard wide Checks Red Stripes
40. pcs. of single Ribbands Viz’. 10. deep Red, 10. deep blue, 10. deep Green, & 10. Yellow,
30, doz”. of Womens Yarn Hose Clock’. & diff’. Colours.
20, d°. of Boys ditto & ditto.
20, d°. of Childrens ditto & ditto.
20, d°. Smallest Childrens Hose.
10, d°. of Womens Scarlet blue and Green Worsted Hose with Clocks,
100, Castor Hatts laced with a broad cheap Lace
50, ditto. with a better Lace
2, doz”. of small Jacks or Colours
100, Coats of blue Cloath Red Cuffs &c. Laced
100, Cheap Green Waste Coats with white Mett’. Buttons
400, Neat Fowling pieces Barrels 4 Feet Long Substantíal Stocks to have some distinguishing mark on the Barrel and Lock of each, about 2 0 / price,
400, ditto. a better kind distinguish’d as above.
200, ditto. 3 Feet Barrell for Boys. ditto. Wilson Maker
100, pcs. of middling Pistols with Ramrods
1000, Indian Cuthashes strong & of the Cymiter kind
500, Pipe Hatchets neat & Strong without Handles
50, doz. of Long Fish Knives with Box Handles and Sharp points
50, ditto. of Buckhorn Clasp Knives
20, doz. of Penknives Sorted
20, doz. of Womens Siczars,
20, Gro: of Indian Awl Blades,
50, B of Brass wire Sorted,
50, Brass Gorgets Gilt, with the Kings Arms
150, Hair Cocades,
50, Gro. of the smallest brass dutch Jews Harps
50, doz. Buckling Combs,
10, M of Needles Sorted
30, Gro. of Hawks Bells different Sizes
4, ditto. of Common Razors,
20, doz. of Looking Glasses at 8/
20, ditto. of ditto at 10/
100, Gro: of Bristol pipes
50, 11 of small white Beeds
500, Common Steel Tongs for Striking Fire
4, •M'”. of Good Gun powder, half in whole, & half in 1/2 Barrells
8, Tons of Leaden Barrs of 1-1/2 lbs Each
2, M of Goose Shott
2. ditto. of duck Shott
10, -M. of Good Flints
500, lbs. of VermiIIion in Casks well packd
20, 1bs of Verdegreace in Lump
100, doz. of Bullet Molds for the before Mention’d Arms,
Source: Sir William Johnson Papers, Volume II page 898-899

A List Of Goods For Indian Presents. 18th Century.

From a memorial from Benjamin Martyn, agent for Georgia, to the Board of Trade, Jan. 28, 1755. This is directly from a 1750 list of goods that was used to suggest what should be purchased with £1500 for Indian presents to be distributed to the groups bordering the colony of Georgia, reused by Martyn.
From the Colonial Records of the State of Georgia.
Enclosure A
A list of goods for Indian Presents.
20 pieces striped Duffils, the stripes bright
28 half pieces blew Strouds
14 half pieces red Do.
10 pieces blew plains corded and Wormed for Women
200 Yards of embroider’d Serge the patterns large
2500 lb F. Gunpowder
150 Wilson’s trading Guns
40 Fowling Pieces
12 Saddles with Cruppers and Bridles
8 Do. a better Sort with Housings
2 Gross Stone Rings
12 Doz. Horn Combs
6 Doz. Ivory Do.
4 Gross black and spotted Clasp knives
12 Doz. Razors
12 Doz. pair Scyssors
12 Doz. looking Glasses
12 Nests of red gilt trunks
19 Doz. check Shirts
18 Doz. white Garlics Do
15 pieces of Calicoe 18 yards in Each
50Cnt trading Bells
34 second hand scarlet, red, and blew coats
6 Do. a better sort, and 6 Waistcoats for head men
34 tinsel laced hats
6 tinsel laced hats a better Sort for Head Men
6 Gross Body Cadis in pieces 12 yards each
6 Gross figured and Star Gartering
30 lb Vermilion
14 Gross long Pipes
60 Gross Hunters Do
100 lb. Shag cut tobacco
40 lb. bright brass wire sorted
6 Gross Hawks Bells smallest size
12 Dozen Oval-eyed Hatchets
250 lb brass Kettles sorted
10 Nests tin Kettles 15 in Each
4 Doz. quart tin Pots
4 Doz. pint Do
4 Doz 1/2 Pint Do
4,000 Black flints for trading guns
1,000 Do for Fowling Pieces
Source: Coleman, K., Ready, M., (1976). The Colonial records of the state of Georgia. Vol.27, Original papers of Governor John Reynolds, 1754-1756. Athens: University of Georgia Press. pp. 30-31

Flintlock Fowler, by Johann Georg Wisthaler of Munich.

Flintlock Fowler, by Johann Georg Wisthaler of Munich (active 1718-50).

This is a beautiful fullstock fowler that has all wrought iron and engraved mounts and very fine rococo ruffle and serpent head carving. He is identified by the Gold touchmark in the top of the breech. He is listed in Stockel as working in Munich between 1745 and 1748. This gun is 20 bore, with the barrel 35 3/4" long and it is 50 5/16" overall. Horn tipped ramrod, with a long jag on the end.