Friday, September 22, 2017

From Nicholas Kane



Those of you in the bottle digging community may know of me as " Buckle Nick" or the antique restorer in  Fiddletown . I dug my first buckles back in the Spring of 1999 and soon after picked up a copy of Silver and Gold Cased images of the California Gold Rush .  As I looked at these Daguerreotypes and Ambrotypes I was fascinated with the almost uniform appearance  of these Argonauts. wearing blue and red colored wool flannel overshirts  , belts made of  thin Patent leather or woven cotton cloth with para military stamped or cast brass" CLASPS". After 18 years of being a hybrid bottle digger and metal detectorist I have gained quite an interest and knowledge of California Gold Rush material culture and have documented my digs and shared my knowledge with others who have been interested.
    Last year after 17 years of trying to find a mention of buckles I read "Clasps" next to Porte Monnaies and a bell went off . I  immediately started searching clasps and there they were and being sold or auctioned in large amounts prior to Wm. Taussig , Taussig &; Pollack or M.Cohen appearing in the SF directories.
Those of you who are interested in buckle hunting will find these articles priceless as I have .  
  I have attached a wonderful  Hawaiian Islands Commercial Advertiser paper from April 12 ,1858 with a  Pollack Brothers , San Francisco advertisement  . The Turner Brothers ad, I figured, would be close to the Pollack Brothers ad.  I dug this Pollack Brothers tongue last year with my girls and it was a very rewarding  day with priceless company.

Sincerely ,
Nicholas Kane
40 dozen patent leather belts eagle & square clasps
Daily Alta California  August 5, 1851

200 patent leather belts eagle clasps
200 patent leather belts star clasps
Daily Alta California August 29, 1851
Daily Alta California  October 30, 1851
Daily Alta California August 19, 1852
Hawaiian Islands Commercial Advertiser paper  from April 12 ,1858 with a  Pollack Brothers , San Francisco advertisement

Woven cloth belt with star clasp

Patent leather and woven cloth belts with cast and stamped clasps. Original clasps and historically correct reproduced belts assembled by Nick Kane. Contact Nick if you are interested in obtaining one of these.

This is the earliest documented record of the California gold rush belt buckles that have been found in  the California gold camps. A exciting discovery for gold rush buckle collectors.
Great work Nicholas! - rs -


  1. Thanks Mike , I couldn't resist sharing this incredible piece of historical information with fellow Miner Buckle Hunters .
    Take Care and good luck hunting .

  2. Great Job!! So now we are all Miner Clasp Hunters LOL

  3. Yes, miner clasp hunters has a classy ring to it