A questioner said:

Can someone tell me what this is? It has been on our front porch since we bought it. My husband and I are stumped and Google has been no help so far. It’s has CS88 stamped on it. House was built in 1890s…UPDATE: It weighs 16lbs. Sorry no banana for scale, so it’s on the bathroom scale.
Credit: Becky Robertson (questioner)

May be an image of welcome mat

May be an image of measuring stick and text


No photo description available. 

Some of the people opinions on it:
  1. Old fashion fire pit
  2. I think it is a boot scraper although now they have a single blade. ??? Just a thought.
  3. It can also be a weight for reins from horses or a weight used with a dray wagon
  4. I think it’s supposed to go in a fireplace
  5. Scrape mud off your riding boots but I dont think it was ever completed
  6. It’s a weight.
  7. Combination boot scraper and horse hitching post!!
  8. I think it’s a insert for a fireplace chimney lol idk
  9. That’s a heavy duty component. Might work as a moveable chock for a cable bridge, or anchor chain guide. Stamp gives a clue. Carnegie Steel? Though it’s cast iron . . . fascinating. I’ll be looking around for the solution
  10. Boot scraper.
  11. Looks like a type of form to shape a tube, more industrial than domestic
  12. I’d say it’s more of a Blacksmith tool.
    Not enough ridges for a boot scrapper.
  13. It does look like it holds up or supports a pipe of some sort. Maybe a water pipe?
  14. Something a smithy used to bend iron
  15. Weren’t boot scrapers more of a blade? And what’s the purpose of the empty space in the middle?
  16. kind of high to scrape your boots-i’d have trouble with that
  17. My guess would be a horse tie down
  18. To make paper fire logs in ?
  19. Wonder if CS stands for Confederate States ???
    Agreeing with the industrial idea, for shaping something.
  20. I’d say to a scrape dirt & mud off boots & shoes . Probably sat out on porch or varies places to not track in the house.

What do you think it is? Let us know in the comment!

Read More: Mysterious white under kitchen cabinet bracket in my 1980’s era home! Any idea?

When purchasing a home, especially one as old as from the 1890s, it’s not uncommon to come across some intriguing relics from the past. One homeowner recently took to the internet to solve such a mystery, sharing a peculiar item found on their front porch since they bought the property. Despite their efforts and Google searches, the object remains unidentified. Here’s what we know so far about this curious piece.

Description and Details

The artifact in question is stamped with “CS88” and weighs approximately 16 pounds. While the owners couldn’t provide a banana for scale, they did measure it on a bathroom scale to give an idea of its heft. Given the home’s construction date in the 1890s, there’s a chance this item has historical significance or a specific function tied to that era.

Potential Theories and Possibilities

  1. Architectural Element: One possibility is that this object could be an architectural or structural component from the late 19th century. Houses built in that period often featured unique and robust construction elements that are no longer in common use today.
  2. Historical Utility Object: The item could have served a practical function, such as a counterweight for old window sashes, a part of an antique mechanical system, or even an element from a bygone agricultural tool.
  3. Decoration or Ornament: Given its stamped marking, “CS88,” this could also be a decorative piece or an ornamental item that once adorned the house. Decorative ironwork and cast elements were popular in the architecture of the time.
  4. Military or Industrial Relic: The stamp might indicate a connection to a specific manufacturer or a military surplus item repurposed for civilian use. Items like cannonballs or weights used in early industrial applications are not unheard of in older properties.

Community Input and Expertise

Given the diverse range of possibilities, the homeowners are reaching out for help. Community input can be invaluable in such cases. Experts in historical artifacts, architectural historians, or those with knowledge in antique tools and machinery might provide insights that lead to a definitive identification.

Steps to Take Next

  1. Detailed Photographs: Taking multiple high-resolution photographs from various angles can help experts better analyze the object.
  2. Local Historical Societies: Contacting local historical societies or museums can provide access to records and experts familiar with items from the region and period.
  3. Antique Appraisers: Consulting an antique appraiser who specializes in late 19th-century artifacts can also yield more information.
  4. Online Forums and Social Media: Posting in specialized forums, such as those for antique collectors, historians, or even platforms like Reddit’s r/whatisthisthing, can tap into a vast pool of collective knowledge.


The mysterious “CS88” stamped artifact presents a fascinating puzzle. While the homeowners have yet to determine its exact purpose or origin, the journey of discovery is part of the charm of owning a historic home. With community help and expert insights, they hope to unlock the story behind this intriguing piece and appreciate yet another layer of their home’s rich history.

If you recognize this object or have any clues about its origins and use, your input could be the key to solving this historical mystery!

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