Treasure of the Month September 2016

1715-TOM-September-2016-ToothPick_1 (1)

Our treasure for September is a rather unassuming artifact that is featured not for its intrinsic value but because of its relative rarity. This anthropomorphic item is actually a toothpick found at the Douglass Beach site in Fort Pierce, Florida.

While toothpicks made of gold, and reportedly silver, have been found throughout 1715 Fleet wreck sites, this particular toothpick has none of those features, for it is made of bone. Just how many bone toothpicks may have been found is unknown. But given the fact that the State of Florida has only one in its collection and that very little has been published about this iconic item, it can be concluded that they are extremely scarce.

For more about toothpicks and portable personal possessions located on Fleet wreck sites see Artifacts of the Spanish Colonies of Florida and the Caribbean 1500-1800, Volume 2, by Kathleen Deagan.

Ben Costello

Ben Costello is a director of the 1715 Fleet Society and an attorney in Washington, PA.

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