Friday, 26 April 2013

Another Days Finds

Not the best day for finds, but here they are. Find of the day is a rather worse for wear clay pipe. It's taken me a long time to figure this one out as the details are so smudged out. Looked like it was a royal something with that preserved crown. I could make out three fleur de lys on the central shield, mottos circling and ribboned at the bottom and on the sides the buttocks and tails of a couple of animals presumably holding the whole thing up. 
Mudlarking Find Clay Pipe With Royal Coat of Arms
A couple of trips we just happened to plan for the next week helped out in my quest. As we entered the gates of Hampton Court with Janey and Megan I spotted the coat of arms on the gates of Hampton Court was a bit similar, and concluded the line and blobs on the bottom left of the pipe's shield were probably the woman's  curve on the Irish Harp and perhaps its top. 
Coat of Arms atop Hampton Court Gates
On our trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum with Gerry later that week, a great bunch of enthusiastic arty people were handing out drawing kits to kids so they could design their own coat of arms and on their stall was a book of heraldry. Interested in the mystery clay pipe from the Thames they worked out that it was probably the royal coat of arms, but which one? Having never been particularly interested in this previously, I didn't appreciate there was more than one. 

It's likely to be George III, the most recent monarch to include the French Fleur de lis, my history isn't good enough to throw light on why there is French  representation, it disappeared when George IV took the throne in 1820.  The red lion rearing in red border represents Scotland linked with England in the 1707 Act of union. My only reference point are the small paper flags  stuck into the sandcastles of our childhood. 
Royal Coat of Arms 1714- 1801 George II

The two beheaded rampant animals are probably the English Lion on the left and the Irish Unicorn on the right.  The writing is impossible to read, I assumed it would be Latin  but in fact its probably French. The words in the circle are likely to be 'Honi Soil Qui Mal Y Pense' 'Shamed be he who thinks evil of it' sometimes reinterpreted as 'Evil be to him who evil thinks'. 

George I  ( 
Decorated pipes became more common from the 1770s and the arms of George II were one of the common designs, so says one source anyway. 

Other finds are far more straight forward. A lovely pipe with minute perfectly rendered oak leaves running over the backbone of its bowl. 
Clay Pipe with Oak Leave 1830 -1900. 
Another Lion, this time it would have formed the centre of an armourial medallion on the side of german stoneware produced from between 1500- 1700. 
Mudlarking Find Lion from Freshen Stoneware 1485- 1700
Bartmann Jug with Lion and Crown Medallion Freshen 1551 - 1700 (Museum of London) 
My guess is the quickly hand painted top of a Chinese House which sat at the bottom of a bowl, is pearlware, but I could well be wrong. 

Mudlarking Find: Handpainted Chinese House decorating the bottom  of a  bowl
The next is definitely German Westerwald Stoneware, possibly from a small globular mug as shown below. The 400 year old rosettes in their sea of cobalt blue looking as though they were cast yesterday. 
Mudlarking Find:  Fragment of 17th C German Westerwald Stoneware 

17th Century Westerwald mug with moulded and applied rosettes (Crocker Farm) 
Finally my one of my favourites, naive hand painted delftware, the end of each leaf still marked by the brush that left it perhaps 400 years ago, maybe it wasn't such a bad day for finds after all.
Mudlarking Find: Delftware shard 1571-1800

1 comment:

  1. I always look forward to hearing about your foreshore discoveries... And spurring me on to look-over old finds. Thanks.