Thursday, November 27, 2014

Shorter Days, Smaller finds......

Fall is quickly racing towards winter and the day light hours are getting shorter and shorter.  Seems like the tides are staying mediocre.  A least the rain has stayed away for the most part.  Last week I made it down to the foreshore for a little picking.  Nothing rare, valuable or downright stunning was found, but  did find a few small trinkets of interest.  I usually don't pick up a lot of little china or porcelain, but a few items caught my eye and I retrieved them for a closer look at home.  The haul for the day was of some decent pipes, some glass, china, pottery, personal effects and a lot of fresh air.

Blacking Bottle, I believe from early to mid 1800's

I like the way the cork is still in this earthen jug spout..
another corked bottle top, maybe a potion bottle late 1700's, to mid 1800's.  after being out of water 4 days the cork shrunk and came out of top!

fairly large pieces of willowware, I wonder what the last meal served on it was?

curious piece of porcelain, maybe part of  a chamber pot handle, old for sure!
green pottery, the piece on bottom right and the above are same. bottom photo shows the two fingers the potter used when shaping the vessel it was.
this is a dark brown/amber glass ball. not quite round, may have been top to glass top, or defective marble that wasn't broken off cleanly when hand blown!
piece of pottery with advertising on it.  Who has a picture of the whole piece?

small fragment of a woman's hair comb, wood, old
pipes, ready to be used again!!

Lastly a gold charm, stamped 14k on back.  Not old, as you can see it is engraved 1-12-89 across it. may have been tossed off bridge for remembrance, good luck or fell off bracelet, but finding gold is always a good sign of luck to come!!

That's a little bit of what I've come up lately.  I'll leave you with a few pictures I took of the stunning display of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London.  I eagerly await the arrival of the two I purchased after seeing this sobering memorial to the brave soldiers lost in WWI.




Monday, September 15, 2014

Low Tide, High Expectations.....Mediocre finds

Last weekend had some great tides for mudlarking.  I managed to make it to an evening tide that measured .05.  I was expecting to find a lot of interesting items, long ago tossed aside, and now resting in the less than frequent exposed mud.  Surprisingly the pickings were scarce.  There were about 6 other night owls out looking at the same time, but they were mostly metal detector guys looking for lost coins and metal.   The worst part of the night was someone stole my boots from the hotel storage room, so I had to search the waters edge in my tennis shoes.  By nights end I was wet up to the ankles.  I did find a good amount of pipes, nothing extra long, which surprised me.  I thought with a really low tide I might find one that was closer to the original length.  Below are pics of the evenings finds.

      Pipes,  a bone knife handle, a knife case, no blades, half a wig roller, teapot spout, pipkin handle

    The small pipe bowl is one of smallest I've found. probable held just a finger tip of tobacco

     Kitchen knife maybe, blade corroded away but nice bone handle remains..

      knife casing, both blades missing from inside.  maybe snapped off in some sorted foreshore bar brawl!!!

 Glass button maybe, has a little iridescent shine on it.

   Anyway, that was about the sum of all the finds.  Summer is quickly coming to an end, the days are getting shorter, the weather will soon turn to clouds, wind and rain.  I'll return again to look for treasures of the past, next time with some new boots!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find....

    Those are the words of Matthew 7:7, although I'm sure his reference wasn't to finding a coin on the foreshore of the Thames.  But hey, St. Pauls is near the Thames, so I'm going to count it as part of 6 degrees of separation!!
    Finally after many trips to the promised land ( the foreshore ), I found a coin ( actually a Jetton ), dating back to around 1660-1685.  It looked like nothing when I spotted it among the rocks, covered in a dark sandy concrete like grit.  But, I knew it was not the common garden variety good luck coin I seem to come across.  Once home, with a little  scrubbing the round copper disk revealed a series of names and images.  Searching the internet I narrowed it down to a time period of around 1700, but I couldn't find an identical match.  Summoning the vast intellect of the London Mudlark facebook page, I posted the below picture of my find.  And in no time at all Karen L. provided me all the info on my find.

                                          Copper alloy jetton,issued by Charles II

The rest of the days finds were the typical pipe and assorted shard and glass fragment pickings. 

I did find the biggest complete wig roller I've come across.

That sums up the last adventure.  My patience of finding a coin like object has finally been rewarded. Others seem to find them on a weekly basis, but they have eluded me like D B  Cooper has eluded the FBI.  Maybe the ice has been broken and I will find more coins.  For now though I am happy with what I have been able to find


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Summer is here, the sun is out...

It's so nice to see that summer has finally arrived.  Not actually for a few more days, but who's counting.  I spent a few hours basking in the late evening sun a few days ago, idly looking to see what the river would give up.  Although the rare coins, toys, and lead seals still play hide and seek from me I did come back with a nice grouping of pipes.  Its neat that these little fragile clay smoking pots of yesteryear come bobbing up on a fairly regular basis, but sad to think that once exposed and released from their muddy grave their days are numbered as they are dashed against the rocks on the foreshore in the proceeding tides.  Taking them home is kind of a search and rescue mission.

So, these are my only post of a find for this trip, my quest for coinage continues!!

      a bakers dozen,  10 newer larger versions and 3 nice small bowl oldies

      Sundown on the Shard

                                                   The old and new intertwined

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I Smell a Farthing!!

   Okay, that was a tasteless title.  Yesterday, the weather was spectacular in London, however due to track replacement on the two Tube lines I usually use to get to the foreshore, I was unable to browse my familiar shore.  I took a gamble and went the opposite direction as the tracks were open in the westbound direction.  I had met a mudlarker who had found some nice items by the Putney Bridge, so I headed there.  Wow, what a neat place.  Quaint, small, quiet, clean, scenic as can be, but not much in the line of discovery.  I would guess that there are some nice finds to be had, but a person would have to settle for less quantity and less frequency of exciting finds.  That's where the farthing comes in.  I picked up about 6 coins along my walk, and came upon the first farthing I have found.  It was nudged between some pebbles and a boat ramp.  Dirty at first, I thought is was just another wishful coin toss from someone recent.  Once home I  cleaned off the grime to expose a nice 1947 rendition of a King George VI farthing.  Funny that it is from the same year of the French Franc I found a few months ago.  A marble here, and a musket ball there, a couple of keys that are still being cleaned and I was done.  Not sure if I would return to mudlark there, but I certainly would to enjoy the numerous pubs, coffee shops and serene setting.  A few days before back on familiar ground I found a nice assortment of pipes, spanning all the ages.  The long one with a curved pipe shaft is the first I've found like that.  The top of an old water jug intrigued me enough to take it home, as it is quite large, has a nice black finish on it, and is made of clay.


                                                  Musket ball, dented from impact
                                                     clay marble, pea size
                                                 Lead trade token
                                              Nice metal button, center design brand mark?

               Farthing front

    Back side

                                        Great old lights and brick work
                            Life of Leisure!!


Friday, May 16, 2014

Hit me with your best shot.....

The sun was out, perfect for a couple of jaunts down to the foreshore.  One evening tide and a morning tide later I had a few new additions to show.  I made my first trip to Rotherhithe, a little farther away but worth the time.  The Mayflower set sail from this location back in 1620, maybe leaving a trail of broken pottery and pipes to the new world!  Pictures below show the fruits of my labor and love. 

       a few  hours later

                                     glass pieces and wine bottle with cork inserted still

                                            glass bead
                                     another bead, nice a smooth, I think made of stone

                                                              top view of bead

Hand painted, delf maybe
bone handle of eating utensil, knife likely
decent pipe and slipware shard
bottom of flow blue teacup or sugar bowl, age unknown
bottom view
1 marble, 4 cannon shot iron balls
not sure what this is, made of morter and I believe iron point.  about 2.5 inches across.  looks like miniature sun dial
side view.  what do you think it is?  Ringholder now!
That was the sum of my adventure.  It was neat to see where the Mayflower left from England, after reading about it so long ago when I was young.