18th Century Fur Trade Silver Ring Brooches – dug at Native American site in Michigan


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This is a set of four 18th century trade silver “ring brooches” dug at an early Ottowa Native American site in Michigan.  These were dug by master scavengeologist Robert Bennett at an Ottowa Native American site along Lake Michigan in Michigan, known as L’Arbre Croche – or “Crooked Tree,” which was the Ottowa capitol village in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Trade silver was first introduced to the Upper Great Lakes trade by the traders out of Montreal about 1760. The circular or “ring” brooches such as this one were attached to a garment by pushing the fabric up through the centre and piercing it with the pin.

In 2019, a very similar one was excavated by archaeologists at nearby Michilimackinac, which is very close to where these were found. That one is pictured here also.  This set includes the four brooches pictured in the first photo.