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Artifact Description

The excavation of the SS Republic yielded over 950 pieces of widely assorted hardware including lead spigots in four different sizes, likely intended for use with wooden barrels or kegs, brown and white porcelain doorknobs, door hinges, door locks, file rasps, and over 200 individual spoons plus additional concretions comprised of spoons stacked together in a single mass.

Also counted among the hardware items were over 100 keys in three different sizes. Referred to as a skeleton key or passkey, such keys were typically made of brass or pewter and were commonly used for both cabinetry and door locks in early Colonial America. They remained in use within the United States through the 1940s.

Like the other hardware consignment aboard the
Republic, these essential items were presumably intended for a New Orleans hardware merchant hoping to rebuild a former trade or launch a new business. It is also possible these essential supplies were bound for further trans-shipment up the Mississippi River to the towns and trading posts of the Western Frontier.

Other Details

L: 14.9cm

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