Z1781 Original Brass Working Die for Massachusetts Volunteer Militia Insignia/Plate
Description: Here is an original working die for some sort of insignia/plate/etc.. This die is made from a piece of solid brass. The main female die is stamped into a brass ingot with posts on the back. This created a working die that could be used, melted, and remade rather than destroying the main die. The brass knobs on the back helped to fasten the die to the top of the press (fly press or screw press). A thin piece of brass was laid over a plate of lead. Once the die came down, the soft lead backing and pressure would assist in shaping the stamped brass item. The edges would then be trimmed and it appears there is a place where one could have their initial engraved or stamped. You can clearly see the flow lines from use in production on the face of the die. I have looked through a significant number of Massachusetts insignia ranging from Civil War through the Spanish and Indian War. I have not been able to find anything close to matching this piece. I would assume this piece is Civil War period or later but my gut instinct says later. What are your thoughts?
Measures: 3" x 3.5"
Recovered: Non Excavated