Horse's hoof clay pipe | The object that represents where mudlarking began for me. Before this, I viewed the foreshore as an exciting, almost transgressive place to encounter the city: with long vistas and lapping waves, the beach was a space of quiet among the noise of London and loneliness among its crowds. After I found it, serendipitously, without looking for anything, I knew I wanted more.
Suraya | A talisman, a mystical locket from Sri Lanka. But I didn't know that when I saw it. I picked up a dirty brass vial, and found, when I got it home, that it loosened, and opened, and contained inside a scroll of occult symbols and geometric markings. I felt sure I'd discovered some alchemist's long-lost secret.
Combed slipware | I made a very dear friendship through a love of combed slip, with an author whose works I had cherished as a child. For that I love it, but also for its ubiquity. I know that whenever I visit the foreshore, I shall always come back with four or five fragments, and that each one will have a different pattern.
Delftware floor tile | No pottery resonates with me like delftware. The crunchy biscuit, the thick glaze like icing, the naiveté of the decoration; and the historical progress of the technology across half the world. This floor tile was made just before the technique reached Britain, in the sixteenth century, and yet the glaze still gleams beautifully.
Fossil sea urchin | This five-pointed star speaks to something very deep in our humanity. A hand axe with one at its centre was made by a member of Homo heidelbergensis 400,000 years ago. They've been collected by Neanderthals, and found arranged in their hundreds around a woman buried four-thousand years ago.
Gin bottle bottom | A bottle of gin from the height of the eighteenth century gin craze. The Georgian poor anaesthetised themselves with the spirit in their densely packed rookeries, sparking a terror amongst the well-heeled. But this particular bottle is special to me because of its star-shaped pontil mark (where the bottle was cut free when still red hot), an image of which was sent through a friend to Ivor Nöel Hume, the author of the 1950s book Treasure in the Thames, shortly before he died.
Japanese Crane Pattern | Sometimes a fragment will give not only aesthetic pleasure, but also a jolt of recognition. This is from a plate by Christopher Dresser for Minton from around 1880, during the craze for Japonaiserie. On continental Europe, the same Japanophilia was giving birth to Art Nouveau, thanks to importers of Japanese wares like Siegfried Bing.
Type plate | A little leaden plate that expresses itself without my needing to intercede. GOLD/Handsome.../graved, and.../Pearls and fine.../lustrous Gems. When I walk along the foreshore looking for the treasures of history, what is it that I'm really hoping to find?
Type plate | A little leaden plate that expresses itself without my needing to intercede. GOLD/Handsome.../graved, and.../Pearls and fine.../lustrous Gems. When I walk along the foreshore looking for the treasures of history, what is it that I'm really hoping to find?
RAF button | This rattles, and buttons don't typically rattle. That's exciting, because buttons of this type would have been sewn onto the tunics of RAF crew during World War II, and one button on each contained a hidden compass as part of the escape and evasion equipment developed by MI9. Could this one also hide a compass? I can't ever know without breaking it.
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Ted's Finds

Horse's hoof clay pipe | The object that represents where mudlarking began for me. Before this, I viewed the foreshore as an exciting, almost transgressive place to encounter the city: with long vistas and lapping waves, the beach was a space of quiet among the noise of London and loneliness among its crowds. After I found it, serendipitously, without looking for anything, I knew I wanted more.
Suraya | A talisman, a mystical locket from Sri Lanka. But I didn't know that when I saw it. I picked up a dirty brass vial, and found, when I got it home, that it loosened, and opened, and contained inside a scroll of occult symbols and geometric markings. I felt sure I'd discovered some alchemist's long-lost secret.
Combed slipware | I made a very dear friendship through a love of combed slip, with an author whose works I had cherished as a child. For that I love it, but also for its ubiquity. I know that whenever I visit the foreshore, I shall always come back with four or five fragments, and that each one will have a different pattern.
Delftware floor tile | No pottery resonates with me like delftware. The crunchy biscuit, the thick glaze like icing, the naiveté of the decoration; and the historical progress of the technology across half the world. This floor tile was made just before the technique reached Britain, in the sixteenth century, and yet the glaze still gleams beautifully.
Fossil sea urchin | This five-pointed star speaks to something very deep in our humanity. A hand axe with one at its centre was made by a member of Homo heidelbergensis 400,000 years ago. They've been collected by Neanderthals, and found arranged in their hundreds around a woman buried four-thousand years ago.
Gin bottle bottom | A bottle of gin from the height of the eighteenth century gin craze. The Georgian poor anaesthetised themselves with the spirit in their densely packed rookeries, sparking a terror amongst the well-heeled. But this particular bottle is special to me because of its star-shaped pontil mark (where the bottle was cut free when still red hot), an image of which was sent through a friend to Ivor Nöel Hume, the author of the 1950s book Treasure in the Thames, shortly before he died.
Japanese Crane Pattern | Sometimes a fragment will give not only aesthetic pleasure, but also a jolt of recognition. This is from a plate by Christopher Dresser for Minton from around 1880, during the craze for Japonaiserie. On continental Europe, the same Japanophilia was giving birth to Art Nouveau, thanks to importers of Japanese wares like Siegfried Bing.
Type plate | A little leaden plate that expresses itself without my needing to intercede. GOLD/Handsome.../graved, and.../Pearls and fine.../lustrous Gems. When I walk along the foreshore looking for the treasures of history, what is it that I'm really hoping to find?
Type plate | A little leaden plate that expresses itself without my needing to intercede. GOLD/Handsome.../graved, and.../Pearls and fine.../lustrous Gems. When I walk along the foreshore looking for the treasures of history, what is it that I'm really hoping to find?
RAF button | This rattles, and buttons don't typically rattle. That's exciting, because buttons of this type would have been sewn onto the tunics of RAF crew during World War II, and one button on each contained a hidden compass as part of the escape and evasion equipment developed by MI9. Could this one also hide a compass? I can't ever know without breaking it.

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