Friday, 4 January 2013

Mudlarking on a Winters Day

Expectations were low. Wind whipped our house before I left, which together with a waterlogged Britain mitigated against a low tide. I caught the bus in the dark. Twinkly Christmas lights decking the Muslim Turkish and Kurdish restaurants guided my way to the tube. 

The city was deserted. A low grey London sky sat above the glassy Thames as it slipped out quickly and  silently, no sign of the wind back home. As much as I like bumping into people and having a chat it is lovely when you're down there completely on your own. 

After just 5 minutes I knew it was going to be a good day for finds. Another day characterised by lettering on stoneware. Most of it not very old and frustratingly google shot blanks, the only one I can identify is the bottom right 19th C J.Bourne ink bottle covered in an earlier post
Mudlarking Finds: Writing on mainly Stoneware
Other satisfying pieces are peopled transferware and another salt glazed stoneware Bartmann Beard, this time made neat with a rather cute little tie. His face is rendered in so many ways, suggesting there were dozens of potteries making Bartmann Jugs in Germany between 1550- 1700, they used many different moulds or that designs were developed over time, I spent an idle hour collecting different images on a dedicated board on my pinterest site
Mudlarking Finds: Transfer People
Mudlarking Find: Another Bartmann Beard 
Stumbled across an unusual number of pipes with longish stems 
Mudlarking Finds: Clay Pipes T-B 1640-60 ,1700-70, 1690-1720
The last find of note is the spout of a Georgian  Red Stoneware teapot, beautifully crafted with intricate zig zag patterns and so smooth and precise it must have been engine turned. 
Mudlarking Find: Stoneware Spout 
Red Stoneware Teapot by Thomas Barker 1770-80 (V&A) 

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After an hour and a half I’d had my fill and wanted to be back with the family, in the warm, eating toast, perhaps they won’t even notice I’ve been out.


  1. Hi Julia,
    Met you on the foreshore the other day. Love your site keep up the good work.