Pieces of pipe-stem are easy to pick up in certain areas, complete bowls less so ..but spend enough time on the first type of mud featured earlier and you may even extract a perfectly preserved bowl with a few inches of stem!I’m working through my obsession partly by writing about it .. But at least I’ve completed this very practical guide and deposited it as the first entry in a new folder Thames Foreshore in the main menu strip.The guide even includes an illustrated list of the different kinds of mud, which in its seriousness may be amusing to some!you’ll have to go to either a museum or an antiquities dealer for those ..
1636 (Hermitage) by the Dutch still-life painter Pieter Claesz showing a very similar form to the older pipe bowl above.
But I’ve chosen not to preview that particular part as an excerpt here, rather this other part. As I said, different spots may offer up more than others if you’re just looking for historical human artefacts but if, like me, you’re just as keen to see interestingly shaped stones, driftwood or unexpected flotsam ..
just about any point on the Thames Foreshore will do!
So the abundance of their discarded shells along the London Thames is more than accounted for by that fact, whether or not the river itself supports them or how much they’ve been specially farmed here in the past. the city’s unusable leftovers tipped into the Thames for hundreds of years.
As far as I know the common ingredients are sheep, cow, goat, pig and poultry, perhaps with a portion of horse and even a smattering of boar, especially in the Greenwich area where the Tudor royal palace used to be. that the concentration of bones in the Greenwich area relates either to 200 years of Tudor/Stuart feasting or to the 19th century Foreign Cattle Market at neighbouring Deptford .. I suspect it has more to do with the river bends and the way these influence where the tidal currents deposit different things.
The problem with most of them especially if water-worn .. There are a surprising number of 17th-18th century fragments, most commonly cream-coloured slipware or white/blue Delftware which are easily recognisable after one’s seen the first .. If you’re more ‘engaged’, to the point of feeling that you really ‘deserve’ to find something .. But added to that, a little preparatory knowledge is bound to help even more.