I have never seen brass thole pins, only ever wood. I have no idea what the brass things are, but would have thought that if they were intended as thole pins, the bit that would go into the gunwhale would not give sufficient support for the pressure of an oar being pulled against the upper part and would jump out. Could they be a form of belaying pin? if indeed they are a nautical item. Wooden thole pins go through the gunwhale and there is usually as much thole pin below the gunwhale as there is above. I remember some barge's boats using thole pins. I found on the few occasions I have used thole pins that it felt completely different from using rowlocks.
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When the winds before the rain, soon you may make sail again, but when the rain's before the wind, tops'l sheets and halyards mind
These are thole pins. A wooden pin is 😀fixed in the gunwale of a rowing boat to which, by means of a grommet, an oar is held when it is being pulled. A more usual method is to use two thole pins close together, with the oar between them. They are a substitute for a crutch or a rowlock.