I could have started this paragraph talking about artefacts and then mentioned Stu in the same sentence. But I won’t 😉 Every time I go and have a look round our lovely pile of rubble, I have to ask everyone on site the same question ‘Have you found any treasure yet?’
Thus far, sadly, the answer has been ‘No’. In the process of mucking the house out last summer, I found a few bits and pieces. In amongst the bird shit and leaves, above an upstairs doorway, I found an old broken piss pot that had a few handmade nails, a couple of oak pegs – left over from thatching and a little leather talisman thing with four copper bells on it. The talisman was either for round an animal’s neck so it could be found, a babies rattle/toy or a spooky weird charm to ward off evil spirits. We’re going for the evil spirits option, which is why it’s going back in the house as soon as we do. Not that we’re superstitious or anything.
Considering I’d spent the best part of six weeks taking ceilings down, removing internal walls, hacking off plaster and pulling up floorboards, my hoard of finds was, well, miniscule. I did find a penny dating from 1720-something – just one penny, plenty of bits of broken china and pottery, and a variety of little bottles. However, on one of my more successful days (my only successful day, I hasten to add), I did find one very special spoon.
While digging out the floors, I basically sifted through the dirt looking for treasure. Any treasure would have been a bonus, especially in light of the mummified rats I found. I had a giant plastic shovel and would tip load after load into a building bucket, letting it trickle in so I didn’t miss anything. The patience paid off and I pulled out this beautiful little spoon. We suspect it’s been carved from bone, have no idea what it was used for and have all been utterly charmed by it. If you’ve got any ideas what it was made for and when then please do give us your ideas.
Since the building and demolition work has been started in earnest, the only treasure we’ve come up with was an old leather slipper. Billy found it, just the one and probably put in the house for good luck. It’ll be going back in when we rebuild the chimney.
That is, until today. Hurrah, real treasure. I was wandering round the house, measuring windows for an estimate and had to go up the stairs. Don’t forget that the stairs don’t really go anywhere at the moment, just skywards, and that we’ve had the team all over the shop, day in, day out.
So at the top of the stairs, first thing I see is a coin. Just sitting there. Only a blind person would have missed it. I have to confess, I laughed at Stu’s good sense of humour and asked him where he’d got it from. Afterall, I gathered he must have planted it there just to get me off his case. A quick line up of the suspects and everybody swore on someones life that they didn’t put it there. The coin just ‘appeared’, A little like the domino, Victorian tiddly wink and hand-turned draughts piece ‘appeared’ after a wind last autumn…
Anyway, Iooked online and the coin is a 500 year old ‘jetton’ or token, made sometime around 1586 in Nuremberg, Germany. Worthless, sadly, but a treasure, no less. All these little pieces are going back in the house, including the skanky shoe, be it in a frame, or hidden in the chimney 😉
Rich is spending some quality time in America. He’s only been gone five minutes but is already sore about missing the ‘Billy. Still, while he’s away, I’m going to spunk my jiggerwatts on the online Olympic equestrian coverage. Not to mention the £200 I’ve spent trying to buy my tickets to Greenwich 😉