Sadly, the shed is still gone, and several things as well as several other things have already been blogged about. How about some more curious things then, from more recent times?
I had access to far too many Victorian tips as a child, and spent far too long wandering around them picking up odd things. With my grandparents living in an 18th century farm house, there were also always things appearing in their flowerbeds. There were plenty of other places too that I found the most unexpected things, here we go:
We’ll start with the oldest bits – this is part of a late sixteenth/early seventeenth century Bellarmine jug – an upstart cardinal who attempted to get all of western Europe excommunicated following the Protestant reformations. He wasn’t liked very much, so was caricatured as a demonic bearded face on wine and beer jugs for some fifty years.
This slightly later piece must have been a beach find, it was loose among several bags from Pembrokeshire. It’s probably from a late 17th century salt glazed jug
These are just two large sherds that came out of a box of pieces of the same vessel from Stratford-upon-Avon. It’s probably 17th century ish, and a wonderful example of imported majolica ware that would have graced only the finest of fine tables.
There was a lot of blue and white china. An awful lot. These weren’t even the largest pieces.
A very masonic clay pipe bowl!
As a kid I had an obsession with collecting clay pipe and taking apart the shed uncovered my collection, some two and a half thousand pieces of stems and bowls of varyingly complete pipes, a few of them dating back into the 17th century. The novelty bowls were the best, and there were plenty of interesting ones including animals, faces, and even one celebrating the opening of Crystal Palace.
There were plenty of bottles – some hundred or so – including a lot of ink pots, like this one still sporting its glass stopper.
Some bottles were familiar, this bottle of Gordon’s Gin is about a hundred years old.
Others were from father afield, like this one that I had found in a local Victorian tip, but had been brought over from Queensland
And then some bottles were just fascinating local examples – this one was produced in my village when phones were so scarce that your number could simply be Danbury 129
Another local find was this musket ball, which came from the common in Danbury where that fool Hillary had set up his ill-conceived army camp
Military finds seeming to be a theme, these bullet casings came from my old primary school, where there had been a WW2 training camp
And that is it! The shed is clear, and I managed to stop myself from hoarding away too much of it again. These few things that I’ve featured here, though, along with several boxes of Roman, Medieval, and more modern things I will now have to try and find a place for, or rehome…
Adieu, happy Reader!