Curator's Choice

Curator's Choice is a monthly series that highlights a significant or unusual artifact chosen from the MAC Lab collections by our staff. We are archiving previous selections so that you can see what is “behind-the-scenes” at the MAC Lab. We hope you enjoy learning about this month's distinctive artifact, and we welcome any additional insight you can provide us with the objects.

Come back and discover what piece of the past we have to share with you next month!


From the list below, select a year to jump to that year's list of Curator's Choice issues.

​​2020 ​201​9 2018
​2017 2016 ​2015 ​2014 ​2013
2012​ ​2011 ​2010 2009 ​2008


2021 Issues

​​Date ​Topic ​Author
​January ​Brass in Pocket: A Button Legacy ​Heather Rardin Rovardi
​February People and Pets as Property: An Exploration of a Collar ​​ ​​Sara Rivers Cofield
​March Hoodoo Alive and Well in Mid-20th Century Annapolis​ Rebecca Morehouse​
​April ​A Familiar Face ​Alice Merkel
​May ​Not One Cent’: The Satirical Life and Times of the Hard Times Token​ ​Monica Kitner
​June ​Let No Man Thirst For Good Beer ​Patricia Samford​
​July Sunflowers​ ​Alex Glass
​August Spit Take:  Cuspidor versus Spittoon​
​Patricia Samford​
​September Cannons, Cannons, and More Cannons
​Nichole Doub
​December ​​​


2020 Issues

​​​Date ​Topic ​Author
​January A Bank You Can “Bank” On ​ ​​​​​​Patricia Samford
​February Getting a Handle on a Mystery ​Sara Rivers Cofield​
​March Keeping Everything From Going Adrift​​ ​Alice Merkel 
​April Sergeant Jacob Huyett’s Cavalry Helmet​ ​Francis Lukezic
​May Crimping a Pie’s Style!​​ ​Rebecca Morehouse
​June Have You Seen the Great German Cask?​   ​Patricia Samford​
​July ​​What's the Point​ ​Greg Pierce
​August Sugar Nippers ​ ​Patricia Samford​​
​​September  ​The Life Saving Lyle Gun​ Nichole Doub
​October The Load I Carry: A Knapsack Hook from Pt. Lookout​ ​Heather Rardin Rovardi
​November Overturning Every Stone​ ​Alice Merkel ​
​December ​A Tale of Two Fossils​ ​Nathaniel Salzman

2019 Issues

​Date Topic​ Author​
Jan​uary ​Culinary Bottle Patricia Samford​​
​February Early-17th-century-Trading-Post.html​​​ Rebecca Morehouse
​March A Tisket, a Tasket, a Beaded Wire Basket ​Sara Rivers Cofield
​April Fish in a Barrel ​Monica Kitner
​May Blades of Glory ​Edward Chaney
​June Driving Through History in Deadwood, South Dakota ​Francis Lukezic
​July Button Rings and Other Things Sara Rivers Cofield​​
​August Decade Ring ​Laura Masur
​September World War II M2 Sea Mine and Anchor​​ ​Heather Rardin
​October An 18th-century French Caribbean Coin in Baltimore​  ​Rebecca Morehouse​
​November The Accessorized Mariner ​​​ ​Patricia Samford
​December ​A Mighty Fine-Toothed Friend   ​ ​Alice Merkel

2018 Issues

​Date Topic​ Author​
January​ Spill Vase ​Patricia Samford
​February A Taste for Classicism ​Seth Williams
​March Stumbling Upon a Storage Chest ​Sara Rivers Cofield
​April Toy Soldiers on Parade ​Francis Lukezic
​May Clothed in Splendor: Mass-Produced Coffin Hardware of the 19th Century ​Mari Hagemeyer
​June A Bone Sewing Stiletto ​Patricia Samford
​July ​Bennington Parian: A Look at Exquisite Craftsmanship ​Sara Franklin
​August The Curious Inner Lives of Cannons ​Heather Rardin
​September ​Whale Oil Lamp ​Patricia Samford
​October Perpetual Calendar ​Nichole Doub
​November The Junior G-Man Badge ​Gareth McNair-Lewis
​December You Never Know What You're Going To Find ​Ed Chaney

2017 Issues

​Date Topic​ Author​
Jan​uary Taking the discipline at St. Inigoes Plantation-A Cilice from Priest’s Point ​Laura E. Masur
​February Under the Microscope: A Nineteenth-Century Flea Glass ​Patricia Samford
​March Pop Culture, Nineteenth-Century Style:The Lady of the Lake ​Patricia Samford
​April A Fishy Find ​Francis Lukezic
​May A "Whale of a Well-Shaped Waist, 19th-Century Style ​Patricia Samford
​June ​Pig Iron Bar with Runners from Antietam Furnace Iron Works ​Gareth McNair-Lewis
​July Cock Your Hat - Angles are Attitudes ​Nichole Doub
​August Smelling Sweet, Mid-19th-Century Style ​Richie Diguiseppe and Dalton Woody of Huntingtown High School Archaeology Club
​September Bald Friar Petroglyphs- Maryland’s Forgotten Rock Art ​Julie Flynn
​October Forget Me Not Mustache Cup ​Patricia Samford
​November The Carroll “Dynasty” and the Mysterious “Falcon Crest” Fork ​Sara Rivers Cofield
​December Not Just Another Marginal Artifact ​Ed Chaney

2016 Issues

​Date Topic​ Author​
Jan​uary Roast Turkey; Seventeenth-Century Style Patricia Samford
​February A Campaign Button of the 18th-Century (Or was it?) ​Sara Rivers Cofield
​March Carlyle Warehouse Nichole Doub
​April Scripture in Iron: Pennsylvania German Stove Plates from Antietam Furnace ​Rebecca Morehouse
​May Functional and Stylish: A Cast Iron Franklin Stove from Catoctin Iron Furnace ​Francis Lukezic
​June Archaeological Evidence of Formal Gardens Found at the Belair Mansion in Bowie, MD ​Alex Glass
​July Passion Subdued by Reason Patricia Samford​
​August The Acteon Carronade​ Caitlin Shaffer​
​September A Day at the Beach - Ruby Stained Souvenir Glassware Erin Wingfield
​October Ghostly Glass-Uranium Glass ​Annette Cook​
​November A US 1828 pattern Bayonet Scabbard Belt Plate ​Gareth McNair-Lewis
​December ​Candle In The Wind (Or Actually, In The Ground) ​Edward Chaney and Alexandra Glass

2015 Issues

​Date Topic​ Author​
Jan​uary The Buckle Generic Sara Rivers Cofield
​February Evidence Of An African Instrument In Colonial Maryland?​ Rebecca Morehouse​
​March Just Say No To Natty Bo - A Temperance Society Teacup Patricia Samford and Teresa Piovesan​
​April The Badge of a US Cavalry Officer Nichole Doub
​May Smoking in Life and in the Hereafter: A Chinese Water Pipe from Deadwood, SD ​Francis Lukezic
​June Buying Local: 18th-century Chesapeake Stoneware ​Alex Glass
​July Remembering the Maine ​Patricia Samford
​August The Perfect Dose ​Isaiah Johnson
​September Lessons for Children Madison Pearson
​October The Mystery of Stiegel-Type Glassware ​Erin Wingfield
​November A Pewter Spoon from the Smith St. Leonard Site​ Gareth McNair-Lewis​
​December Ice Skating Through the Ages​ ​Caitlin Shaffer

2014 Issues

​Date Topic​ Author​
Jan​uary A Humans Best - and Oldest - Friend​ Rebecca Morehouse​
​February The Rise of Balloon Flight​​ Caitlin Shaffer​
​March Wear For My Sake - A Mourning Ring Fragment from Smiths St. Leonard Alex Glass​
​April Snake Oil and Magic Potions: Fooling the Public with Cure-alls and Quackery Erin Wingfield​
​May Bavarian Black Buttons​ Sara Rivers Cofield​
​June Tool Check Tag ​Patricia Samford
​July Maryland's Oil Fields Nichole Doub​
​August The Allure of French Perfume​ Patricia Samford​
​September The Rise and Fall of the Green Fairy ​Annette Cook
​October Some Objects Lead an Interesting Life: A Tale of Dr. Samuel Mudd's Tea and Coffee Service ​Francis Lukezic
​November Iron Draw Knife from the Jackson Homestead (18MO609) ​Gareth McNair-Lewis
​December I LOVE Your Hair! ​Edward Chaney

2013 Issues

​Date Topic​ Author​
Jan​uary "Buttons to Trim the Coat in the Manner I Wish It to Be" ​Caitlin Shaffer
​February Who Bit the Bullet?: Let Slip the Pigs of War! ​Edward Chaney
​March Erin Go Bragh! "Home Rule" Tobacco Pipes and Ireland's Struggle for Independence Rebecca Morehouse​
​April Peas, Beans, Corn and Wheat ​Alex Glass
​May Go Figure!​ Nichole Doub​
​June Mysterious Lead Objects from Smith St. Leonard​ Annette Cook​
​July ​Fourth of July for the Harmonica Virginie Ternisien​
​August Use A Bottle, Save a Breast! Makenli Essert
​September Take a Closer Look at this 18th-Century Needle Case Telescope​ Sara Rivers Cofield​
​October Murder in Maryland: "Devills" Masquerading as Colonial Gentlemen ​Erin Wingfield
​November Punch-Decorated Door Latch Bar from Smith St. Leonard Site ​Gareth McNair-Lewis
​December The Line of Sight: A Brief History of Eyeglasses Christy Nisbet​

2012 Issues

​Date Topic​ Author​
Jan​uary Much Ado About Asphalt Edward Chaney​
​February The Inkhorn​ ​Patricia Samford
​March The Smith's-St. Leonard Fan Alex Glass​
​April Natural Approaches To Pest Management​ Erin Wingfield​
​May Baltimore Rockingham Hunt Pitcher​ Patricia Samford​
​June ​Camden Yards Piano Baby Patricia Samford ​
​July A Colonial Side Saddle Sara Rivers Cofield
​August The Mystery of Lake George ​Sharon Osofsky
​September The Personal Touch ​Annette Cook
​October The Disturbing History of Dentures Erin Wingfield​
​November Anyone for a Game of Ring Taw? Patricia Samford​
​December ​The Bond Street German Jeton ​Heather Rardin

2011 Issues

​Date Topic​ Author​
Jan​uary Native American Gaming Stones ​Rebecca Morehouse
​February No Curator's Choice​
​March The Real Reason Maryland Fans Hate Duke ​Edward Chaney
​April Native American Effigies ​Erin Wingfield
​May ​Ivory and Silver Walking Stick Handle Patricia Samford​
​June The Harquebus Barrel Nancy S. Shippen​
​July An Accokeek Pot ​Caitlin Shaffer
​August An Apothecary Weight​ Alex Glass​
​September Holey Molar! ​Annette Cook
​October Signed, Sealed, Delivered ​Nichole Doub
​November ​Dazzling Duds-Metal Thread in the 17th Century ​Sara Rivers Cofield
​December ​Timekeeping in the 18th Century ​Rebecca Morehouse

2010 Issues

​Date Topic​ Author​
Jan​uary Rachel Was Here ​Annette Cook
​February Fake Treasure ​Nichole Doub
​March The Cost of a Pretty Penny ​Kenya Brown Fusciello
​April ​The Easter Egg Cache ​Sara Rivers Cofield
​May A Carved Bone Figure ​Dennis C. Curry and Maureen Kavanagh
​June It's All in The Details-Regimental Buttons from Valley Forge ​Nancy S. Shippen
​July Pierced Silver Coin ​Alex Glass
​August Flintlock Gun Part ​Annette Cook
​September Pattens Patricia Samford
​October A "Wellth" of History ​Sami Allen
​November Flintlock Pistol's Grotesque Butt Cap Kelly Cooper
​December Sacred Silver: A Cross-Shaped Reliquary Pendant ​Sara Rivers Cofield 

2009 Issues

​Date Topic​ Author​
Jan​uary A Model 1855 Bayonet ​Gareth McNair-Lewis
​February Saint Benedict Medal ​Erin Wingfield
​March Horne Point Fireback ​Nichole Doub
​April Artifact of An Archaeologist ​Erin Wingfield
​May ​Civil War Canteen ​Nancy S. Shippen
​June Copper Points from Posey Site ​Sara Rivers Cofield
​July Smith/St.Leonard Chafing Dish ​Alex Glass
​August Witch Bottle ​Rebecca Morehouse
​September Havre de Grace Cannon ​Caitlin Shaffer
​October Bannerstones ​Edward Chaney
​November B & O Railroad Plate ​Patricia Samford
​December ​A Colonial Collection of Native American Artifacts ​Sami Allen

2008 Issues

​Date Topic​ Author​
Jan​uary Modified Cowrie Shell Patrica Samford
​February Tam O'Shanter Jug ​Patricia Samford
​March Inscribed "SS" Bodkin ​Sara Rivers Cofield
​April Columbus Paddle Wheel ​Kathy Concannon
​May Triangular Bit Smoking Pipe ​Edward Chaney
​June ​​Decorated Bone Pin ​Rebecca Morehouse
​July The CSS Alabama Dishes ​Caitlin Shaffer
​August Rebecca Addison's Silver Thimble ​Sara Rivers Cofield
​September Writing Slate Patricia Samford​
​October Jamestown Project ​Kenya Brown Fusciello
​November Friderich Emich Medallion ​Erin Wingfield
​December ​Popes Creek Pottery Vessels ​Edward Chaney