A few of our favourite things…

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been excavating a site in the CBD that’s yielded some of the most interesting artefacts we’ve see for a while. So, today on the blog, we’ve selected a few of these fascinating things for your viewing pleasure. Clay pipes, candlesticks, pepper shakers and bowler hats: scroll down for a veritable feast of pictorial splendour! Or something along those lines.

A bowler hat! This hat is made of felt and may have been worn by either a man or a woman (women used to wear hats like these with riding outfits in the lat 19th century). If you look very closely at the rim of the hat, you can see the remnants of the ribbon trim that once decorated it. Image: J. Garland.

First up, a bowler hat! This hat is made of felt and may have been worn by either a man or a woman (women used to wear hats like these with riding outfits in the late 19th century). If you look very closely at the rim of the hat, you can see the remnants of the ribbon trim that once decorated it. Image: J. Garland.

A lovely brass candlestick (used by Colonel mustard in the library, perhaps...). We think that the pieces of fabric stuck to the metal are just the remnants of the wrapping it was thrown out in, rather than a functional or decorative part of the candlestick itself. There's even a candle stub still visible inside the holder, near the base. Image: J. Garland

A lovely brass candlestick (used by Colonel Mustard in the library, perhaps…).The pieces of fabric stuck to the metal are  probably just the remnants of the wrapping it was thrown out in, rather than a functional or decorative part of the candlestick itself. There’s even a candle stub still visible inside the holder, near the base. Image: J. Garland

This lovely little saucer is decorated with a Chinese motif, known as 'Chang'. It appears to show one man cooking, while another stands around smoking a pipe. Not such an unfamiliar scene, is it? Image: J. Garland.

This lovely little saucer is decorated with a Chinese motif, known as ‘Chang’. It appears to show one man cooking, while another stands around smoking a pipe. Not such an unfamiliar scene, is it? Image: J. Garland.

This is really, really cool. This clay tobacco pipe appears to have been made locally, here in Christchurch, by or for the Trent Brothers. The Trent brothers were coffee, flax and chicory merchants based in Christchurch in the second half of the 19th century. The lovely people over at the Lost Christchurch blog have an excellent series of posts on the brothers and their business.  As far as we're aware, no other pipes like this one have been found before in New Zealand.  Image: J. Garland.

This is really, really cool. This clay tobacco pipe has a local connection, being made by or for the Trent Brothers, Christchurch. The Trent brothers (Frederick and James) were coffee, flax and chicory merchants based in Christchurch in the second half of the 19th century. The lovely people over at the Lost Christchurch blog have an excellent series of posts on the brothers and their business. As far as we’re aware, no other pipes like this one have been found before in New Zealand. Image: J. Garland.

We found another New Zealand branded pipe at this site, this time stamped with the mark of Twentyman & Cousins. Messrs Twentyman & Cousins (wonderful names!) were Christchurch retailers

Surprisngly, we found another New Zealand branded pipe at this site, this time stamped with the mark of Twentyman & Cousin. Messrs Twentyman & Cousin (wonderful names!) were Christchurch retailers originally based in Cathedral Square. In the 1880s they moved to new premises at what is now 93 Cashel Street, into a building designed by renowned architect B. W. Mountfort (Press 17/06/1882:1). Image: J. Garland.

This Willow patterned salt/pepper shaker is a surprisingly unusual find: they're not often found in Christchurch's archaeological sites. It's one of my personal favourites from this assemblage. Image: J. Garland

This transfer printed salt/pepper shaker is a surprisingly unusual find: they’re not often found in Christchurch’s archaeological sites. It’s one of my personal favourites from this assemblage. Image: J. Garland

A pig snout gin bottle with a prunt or blob seal on the shoulder.

A pig snout gin bottle with an anchor decorated prunt or blob seal on the shoulder. Seals like these were most common in the first half of the 1800s, although they were still being added to bottles at the end of the century (usually to gin bottles like this one). This particular prunt is embossed with ‘Van Dulken Weiland & Co/ Rotterdam’, well-known 19th century Dutch gin manufacturers. Image: J. Garland.

A child's plate! We've featured plates like this before on the blog, although none quite like this one. It reads "...in passing along they beheld on the ground/ ... man stretch'd along in a sleep most profound". Image:  J. Garland

A child’s plate! We’ve featured plates like this before on the blog, although none quite like this one. It reads “…in passing along they beheld on the ground / … man stretch’d along in a sleep most profound”. Image: J. Garland

And to finish….

These gorgeous shoes are in excellent condition. The adult size one (top)

Shoes! We’ve found a surprisingly large number of shoes (adult and child size) and fabric artefacts from this site, all in fairly good condition. Both the child sized shoe (bottom) and adult lace up shoe shown here (top) are among the only examples we’ve found with the complete upper portion of the shoe intact. Usually, we’re only recovering heels and soles. Aren’t they gorgeous!  Images: J. Garland.

Jessie Garland

6 thoughts on “A few of our favourite things…

  1. Hi – I have had a look at the pic of the salt/pepper shaker – it looks to me like it is a sugar caster for desserts – I used to have several of these pre earth quake – you can usually tell by the quantity they hold, the shapes are almost always the same, and the give away is the size of the holes – Caster sugar was made usually by hand from the cones of imported sugar. Caster Sugar is the grade between ordinary sugar and icing sugar. The sugar cones were made by dripping the concentrated sugar syrup and then broken up either at the shop or in the home. Sugar manufacture is a really interesting topic.
    Best wishes – Martin

    • Hi Martin,

      How interesting (especially the cones!) I’ve not come across sugar casters in assemblages before, but you’re right, there is a resemblance. This shape (known as baluster form) was used for ceramic pepper pots throughout the 19th century as well, though.

      Cheers,
      Jessie.

  2. Excellent images! I found some more details about the child’s plate – there was an identical one sold on eBay in 2012 but sadly no image – see link below.

    The full phrase on the plate was:
    “When in passing they behold on the ground. A man stretched along in a sleep most profound. While a basket stood close to his knee.”

    https://tinyurl.com/mzy8urz

    • Hi Liz,

      It is indeed. We’ve got quite a few Willow patterned vessels from this particular site, a variety of forms.

      Jessie.

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