Monday, 24 June 2013

An Evening Mudlark

I've been keeping my eye on the tide tables and had spotted that the lowest tides of the year seem to be this week, coinciding with the summer solstice. Last night there was an amazing 0.5m,  just too low to resist. 

My first evening mudlark - I was quite excited.  As I trotted down the road conscious that most other people were winding down, sorting out their evening meal before settling down to Sunday telly, quietly preparing for the working week ahead. 

Grey clouds crowded the sky. It was surprisingly gloomy not quite the midsummer mudlark I'd envisaged. As I descended the steps I was rewarded with a huge stretch of exposed shore with two hours still to go before low tide. 

I saw Lara's silhouette down the shore and made my way over for our arranged mudlarking meet.  It was fun to share stories and great to have some Lara mudlarking tips. 

It was such a productive trip that I can't decide which is my find of the day, so I'll start off with my top four. The first is Lara's favourite, a roman or medieval tile with a small hoof print, not sure if it's a piglet, lamb or kid. After tiles were cut out and shaped they were laid out to dry before firing, which is when a few collected prints from mice, dogs or livestock. 
Mudlarking Find: Roman or Medieval Tile with hoof print
I was delighted with my first whole Bellamine face, there seem to be endless versions. This one is rather scary bearing his teeth through a distorted mouth, with bags under his strange poppy out eyes but with a rather refined nose, as my good friend Gerry later pointed out. 
Mudlarking Find: Bellamine face 1550- 1700
Bartmann Jug 1551 - 1700 (Museum of London) 
I came across what I've been hoping to find since I started mudlarking, a 7cm long wild boar's tusk. The black doesn't match the pictures of white tusks I've found on the net, perhaps the enamel has worn off, unsure of the other tooth's origin - any ideas?

Mudlarking finds: Mystery tooth & wild boar tusk.
My last find of the day is a small 1.5cm lead cloth seal. I've wanted to find one of these for ages so made up even through the imprints are very worn on one side. Lara's top tip is smear with olive oil to bring out the design. I'm hoping that now I've got my eye in for these I'll find more on future trips.

Mudlarking Find: Lead Cloth Seal 1200-  1800s. 

As ever a handful of pottery made its way into my bag. These are my favourite pieces, from left to right clockwise, hand painted tea bowl, early transferred pearlware, flow blue and green transferware. The whole lot probably spans from around 1760 - 1900s. 
Mudlarking Finds: pottery shards. 
Lara will be posting her finds shortly on her site here. Our next planned mudlark is one with a difference and will definitely  be one to remember - watch this space! 

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog. I want to start mudlarking! This looks like so much fun. -Carlos