Artifact of the Week: Brass Escutcheon

brass escutcheon

This brass escutcheon was excavated from the Rayfield slave cabins on Cumberland Island National Seashore in 2006. An escutcheon is a plate that protects the wood around the keyhole of a door; these objects could often be decorated, as in this example. An escutcheon often has a flat piece that covers the keyhole to prevent someone from looking inside. This artifact came from the Chimney 11 cabin, which also revealed five iron keys during excavations. The fact that items related to personal security were found within slave cabins is intriguing. Slaves living and laboring on Cumberland Island during the plantation era (1786-1880) may have had the ability to limit access to their homes and material goods.

CUIS 2017
FS 306.5

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