Jeweler’s Drawplate

Project details

This jeweler’s draw plate, used to form decorative metal wire, was found among the thousands of objects filling a multi-purpose cellar. Draw plates were used to create wires of different shapes to fashion into necklaces and other jewelry. This particular plate has three different shapes, a half-moon, a six-pointed star, and a four-pointed star. Wire would have been drawn through the plate, sometimes with the aid of a lubricant, in order to obtain the desired shape.

Chemical analysis of residue found in one of the draw plate’s holes indicates that copper wire was once used with this tool. It is possible that Jamestown jeweler Daniel Stallings, who arrived in 1608, may have owned a draw plate like this one as it was part of a jeweler’s kit.