This lidded pewter flagon is one of the few artifacts in Rediscovery’s archaeological collection that archaeologists may be able to link to a specific individual. On the underside of the lid thumbpiece are the initials “R P E,” arranged in a triangular configuration with the “P” slightly above the other two letters. These initials are probably those of Richard and Elizabeth Pierce who arrived at Jamestown on the ship The Neptune in 1618. In the 1624 census they are listed as living at Neck of Land, approximately 20 miles upriver from Jamestown in Charles City.
The form and manufacturing style of this vessel as well as the context it was recovered from indicate that it was made and used by the Pierces prior to 1620. It may have been lost in the Smithfield well as Richard or Elizabeth tried to retrieve water while at Jamestown.
This flagon was in good condition when it was excavated, but to stabilize the artifact and clarify the handle, hinge elements, and initials on the thumbpiece, it underwent conservation before it was placed on display in the Archaearium museum.