A Mudlark's Treasures

London in Fragments

Ted Sandling, foreword by Iain Sinclair
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Objects found on the banks of the Thames tell the stories of Londoners through the centuries.

Mudlarking enthusiast Ted Sandling takes us on a riveting journey along the Thames foreshore and back into the past.

'A beautiful book.' - Daily Mail

'Exhilaratingly curious.' - Evening Standard

'Gripping.' - Spectator

Mudlarking, the act of searching the Thames foreshore for items of value, has a long tradition in London. In the late 18th and 19th centuries, mudlarks were small boys grubbing a living from scrap. Modern-day mudlark Ted Sandling shares his passion for unearthing relics of the past from the banks of the Thames and describes his fifty most evocative finds.

From Roman tiles to elegant Georgian pottery, these objects create a mosaic of everyday London life through the centuries, touching on the journeys, pleasures, vices and industries of a world city. This book celebrates the beauty of small things, and the intangible connection that found objects give us to the past. The Thames presents treasures with a delightful serendipity: it gives up a hundred random objects, and it is up to the finder to discover their stories. That is the joy of mudlarking: that after every trip to the river you know more than you did before. Chance connections with something that was once treasured, that was once lost and has now been found again. Even the meanest broken fragments tells a story of this great city.

The significance of these fragments lies in the stories they tell us about the everyday lives of the people to whom there are no monuments or blue plaques.

Author bio:

After studying History of Art at The University of Bristol, Ted Sandling moved to London and became a garden designer and landscape historian. In 2008 he returned to the fine arts when he joined Christies. He now works at Christies Education. He first went mudlarking in 2004 and was instantly hooked.

Category: History
ISBN: 9780711263628
Publisher: Quarto UK
Imprint: Aurum Press
Pub Date: May 2021
Format: Paperback
Subject: Archaeology