Love Tokens from the Thames
February 14, 2015 10:15 PM   Subscribe

Love Tokens from the Thames, dug up by the Mud God (aka Steve Brooker of Thames and Field).
posted by gamera (17 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
MUD FOR THE MUD GOD! TRINKETS FOR THE MARGINALLY VALUABLE ANTIQUITIES THRONE!
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:04 AM on February 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


(Seriously, though, this is great, and I wish there was more in-depth information about how the different objects might have ended up there and why.)
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:18 AM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Snod, we hardly knew ye.
posted by Segundus at 12:44 AM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


In fact, we didn't.
posted by Segundus at 12:44 AM on February 15, 2015


MUD FOR THE MUD GOD!

Tag added!
posted by gamera at 1:22 AM on February 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


A thing that leaves some sign of its passing, in a sense, has not completely died.

These make me sad and wistful. We don't know of the coins were thrown in the Thames to commemorate or to forget, but it's still a marker of the fact that, once, someone loved someone else very badly. Possibly the sole remaining marker, possibly the only recognizable relic that either person existed at all.
posted by JHarris at 1:34 AM on February 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


I like these more than the ubiquitous padlocks on bridges.
posted by jfwlucy at 2:33 AM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


How are old cultural artifacts regulated in the UK? Can he sell things he finds?

The engraved coins were poignant indeed. Each would have had a full and complex human story, which is likely entirely unknowable now. It's a good reminder of how transitory we all are.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:52 AM on February 15, 2015


How are old cultural artifacts regulated in the UK? Can he sell things he finds?

To start with, he's one of the few people allowed to dig on the Thames foreshore - you need a licence from the Port of London Authority. Anything he finds would be subject to the law of Treasure Trove. After that, it's between him and the landowner (which in this case probably means just him).
posted by Leon at 6:28 AM on February 15, 2015


London was one of the first non-American cities I'd ever spent a significant amount of time in, and it's always been incredibly magical to me. I love that there are spots where you can stand on a bridge and turn your head to see artifacts from a span of human history, right up through today - I always feel so rooted in history when I'm in London. Next time I'm there I'll also be thinking about the fact that tokens like these are in the mud below me. Thank you for sharing this!
posted by DingoMutt at 6:48 AM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Doves Type probably belongs in this thread.
posted by Leon at 7:05 AM on February 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


Spitalfields Life is a real jewel of a blog. Always glad to see it featured here.
posted by immlass at 9:19 AM on February 15, 2015


I have one of those cut coins from the Victorian period, it had been a promise-type gift from one ancestor to another before they were old enough to aquire parental permission to marry. It's a beautiful little thing that makes me smile when I run across it in my box of oddities.
posted by dejah420 at 10:09 AM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I love stuff like this. Mrs. Example has gone mudlarking a few times along the south bank of the Thames, finding mainly loads of Elizabethan clay pipe fragments. She's taken a few and threaded them into necklaces.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:34 PM on February 15, 2015


Oh man, if I ever get to London again I NEED to find a way to do this. I've been to Dead Horse Bay in Brooklyn but this sounds like a much, much higher grade of weird old stuff.
posted by nonasuch at 12:36 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I live on a boat on the Thames, on a section which is completely dry at low tide.
The island here has a long history as a boat yard, repairing the lighters which brought goods in to meet the railway.
The riverbed is more metal than mud. We spent a wile clearing a metre by metre section and filled a large bag with old metal. Next tide we couldn't see the section that we had cleared.
Apparently each section around the island has different stuff, we are in couplings, chains and connectors.
Across the river our fancier neighbours are in cutlery and tools.
About three years ago a complete diesel engine was unearthed.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 1:07 PM on February 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


Guided Thames beach-combing expeditions—I've not been myself but friends say it's excellent.
posted by Hogshead at 3:06 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


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