Monday, 21 April 2014
As of late I have been privy to some of the items that have come up off the sea bed in fisherman's nets off the Thanet coast. This item was picked up off the Kentish Knock and has been doing the rounds on Facebook. Lumps of concretion off a wreck on the sea bed can give many clues to the origin of the wreck, especially with a lump of porcelain attached. Just by looking at the photograph the first thing that comes to mind is an East Indiaman either English or Dutch and given the location it is a strong possibility. I have been given the position of the find and research has turned up 71 wrecks or strandings in the vicinity of the find. In that list the is a record of a stranding of a East Indiaman "Juliana" in 1821 in the vicinity of the find. Also there are listed four vessels that sailed from Antwerp and Amsterdam that were lost on the Kentish Knock between 1817 to 1820 all carrying general cargo. One in particular was carrying raw silk and that is open to possibilities as silk and porcelain are East Indiamen imported items . It may be difficult to actually pin point the find at present to a particular vessel but at least I can point the finder in the general direction until more items are found.
Friday, 4 April 2014
After the surge and the following gales during January and February patches of coal dust appeared along the Thanet coast, in some ares there were patches of larger fragments. I took home buckets of the stuff just to pick through it and get some idea of the make up. In the photograph below are some of the shell specimens found in the coal that predominately turned out to be European sea Cowries also in the photograph is a spiral shaped shell. The shell is known as a Wentletrap and is very unusual along the Thanet Coastline.
The coal in general is a mixture of everything most domestic coal and the origin is far and wide. However the pieces that are darker are fragments from the gas works coal and they are harder and do polish up well. This type of coal is often used to fake Whitby Jet.
Thursday, 3 April 2014
The tidal surge of the 6th December 2013 and the following two months of gale force winds have had a more profound impact on the coastline of Isle of Thanet than most people realize. Many of the people who really know and understand the coast have noticed the changes, resulting in many finds. As for myself I have set up a new collection of raw Amber found since day one of the surge and this is part of it. Finding Amber on the Thanet coastline is nothing new but it is highly specialized and takes a great deal of understanding of wind , tides and the seasons to be good at it.
I have had other Thanet Amber collections before of which I have given away or loaned. One collection I call the Nordic collection found off Margate is on loan at the Margate Museum but unfortunately they seem to have difficulty in returning it to me. I have now found these people just impossible to deal with so I have started a new collection and this time I am not going to part with a single piece of it. It is going to be the biggest collection ever amassed from the south of Thanet coast and I am going to call the collection. " The Stones of Avalon" because it all originates from the south westerly winds.
Above in the palm of my hand are some of the pieces found since 6th December 2013, the day of the surge.