Sunday, 19 August 2012

Mudlarking: Find of the Day and the Rest

In retrospect an early visit to Hampstead Women's ponds for a bit of wild swimming in London would probably have been a wiser way to spend a sweltering 32 degrees in London. Yesterday, Maddy and I swam in the Thames, albeit the estuary at Canvey Island, it was surprisingly unsalty, slightly muddy and you could feel the current pulling you seawards, but still delightful. Consequently was seeking a bit of mudlarking as my last weekend treat.

I don’t usually go mudlarking on a Sunday, expecting the foreshore to have been too well picked over by the end of the weekend. The beauty was the church bells ringing out, which doesn’t seem to happen outside the centre of London anymore. First Southwark Cathedral and then as I walked homewards the wondrous bells of St Pauls, the Choir was still emanating from the Millennium bridge speakers, all rather uplifting.

This time I didn’t come across a thrilling find, but as usual when I got home and reflected on the bits and pieces I’d picked up, concluded there were quite a few satisfying pieces. 

Complete clay pipe bowls were picked up today rather than left for another beachcomber, as I have a plan for these. The small one is from 1660 and the larger ones from 1700 – 1820. 

Clay Pipes Found Mudlarking no the Thames
Scouped up a small collection of rather nice Westerwald shards, the cobalt blue still so strong, one even included the rare manganese. The incised patterns and colouring are so definite.
Westerwald Shards Found Mudlarking on the Thames
A delft picture is a rare find. It was only when I looked at this delft fragment later I realised the marks outlined a roof and house. Later in the day I came across a similar delft tile, when surfing the web.
Mudlarking Find: Roof on Delft Tile
Delft Tile 
I couldn’t walk away from this piece of iridescent glass, with its oil slick of colour. As I understand it the older the glass the more iridescent it becomes, so probably at least 400 years old, but I haven’t done my research here. 

Mudlarking Find: Iridescent Glass
Not well photographed I’m afraid, but a rather fetching group of very delicate porcelain fragments, I suspect  from tea ware.  
Mudlarking Finds, delicate Porcelain fragments from teaware
I seldom find black transferware and unusual to find a picture that isn’t flowers. 

Mudlarking Find: Child with cat
I will have to make more of an effort to turn over stoneware pieces as it's such a thrill to be rewarded with writing. Not brilliantly photographed here, it says ‘W: Num 95’, can’t track down a precise match on the net, the closest is German stoneware bottles, which people are guessing held mineral water. 
Mudlarking Find: Stoneware with W: Num 95
I’m working myself up to research and post about transfer ware, so I collected quite a few pieces today. I keep putting it off as it seems so immense and confusing. Found another fishing stone, a shard with a modern mark ‘Solian Ware SIMPSONS (Potters) Ltd. Cobridge, England' 1944+, delft, slipware, debased scratch blue white stoneware and a couple of  fragments with boat people.

Thames Mudlarking: The rest of the Days Finds

1 comment:

  1. Your blog reflects my trips to the foreshore so graphically, they comfort me when I am unable to visit! I have mudlarked for 12 years now and have never really found anyone as obsessed as I am so its a treat to see how you have developed your interest so cleverly. I met Tom this year also! Perhaps we will meet one day. You have discovered some gorgeous pieces especially the Chinese musicians. If you camp in Norfolk again perhaps I could show you my trays of goodies. . . Sue James Norwich.