Friday, 24 January 2014

Stuck at home not mudlarking

Rain and being a responsible mother is keeping me away from the Thames for a good month. Growl. So as I'm not in the shed mosaicing tonight and a bunch of big teens have commandeered the TV room I'll spend a while finishing off this post with a few finds from my last mudlark. The first is part of a cartouche from a bellamine jug. Interestingly London Mudlark found one very similar shortly after I picked this up. Someone ventured it bore Amsterdam's coat of arms. 

Mudlarking find: salt glazed cartouche 1550-1700
A very worn decorated pipe, the same ghostly sleep walking figure appearing on both sides. There are surprising few pictures of decorated pipes on the web so have not a clue what this might  be, hoping Richard might be able to help out.  

Just love this large chunk of green glazed pottery. I'm always rather moved by seeing the decoration someone has pinched with their finger tips hundreds of year ago. It is unusually refined, does this mean it it was produced in France or is it the more recent (1550-1700) Surrey Hampshire Border Ware? I really am rubbish at identifying the different types of green glazed ceramic, so I'll be taking this down to the Thames Discovery identification session on 4 Feb for some expert advice from Jacqui Pearce the pottery czar from the Museum of London Archaeology.   

And finally the oldest pipe I have ever found 1580 - 1620, it's weeny and next to a whopper from the 1770s. 
Mudlarking finds: clay pipes L 1770s and R 1580


  1. Wow, what a great mudlarking blog. Thanks so much for creating it. Your mosaic looks terrific! I've been thinking of doing one for a while. You've really inspired me. Cheers. I'm off mudlarking right now!

  2. Love that first piece - so much detail, and no doubt an exciting find!

  3. nice stuff. I have one of those teeny pipes also, I think in my blog I called it a beginners pipe. Hardly seems worth the effort to light up. I found my first coin yesterday, although its not that old, it was better than nothing. i'm looking forward to seeing your final project. Will you mount the mosaic on wall? If so, it must weight a whole lot!

  4. Hi Julia,
    I haven't come across this design before, I've been looking through some of my books but with no luck so far, I thought it could be depicting native Americans maybe?
    The early pipe is a great find, the way the stem continues straight into the bowl with no step to the heel is a feature of such early pipes.

    1. Thanks for looking Richard, I came across one picture of a clay pipe with masonic symbols found in the States with a figure with those weird lines emanating from their head - the really old pipe was the one I found when I last bumped into you on the foreshore, it looks like it was bought yesterday it looks so new!

  5. I've just seen the same picture you found, it doesn't look like the usual masonic pipes, but it's not clear what the shield is on the back and they don't say what the words around the bottom read.
    I've also now found a drawing of pipe depicting similar figures in a book about Bristol pipe makers, but it doesn't give any information about what they might represent.
    I had some doubts about your early pipe when I first saw it but after looking at some references, now I would definitely say you were right with your dating of the pipe.
    As you mentioned the shortage of pictures of decorated pipes on the web, I think you will be interested in some articles that have been put on the SCPR website just this week, they are PDF so you can download them and they are very informative with some pics as well.