Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

A Margate exhibition

All being well this Bank Holiday will see the start of a new exhibition at the Margate Museum. It will be based around flotsam,jetsam, storms and the history of the coast. To be honest I not sure of the exact format the exhibition will take as my role has been just to submit all the items I found during the sea defence works and other finds I have found along the coast over the years for the exhibition. The theme of the exhibition  will be the area around the Harbour and the Jetty and a display team has been set up to work with researchers from the Friends of the Margate Museum to set the whole thing up using Margate Museum resources.

As I gathered up all my finds together and explained where each item came from it occurred to myself that I have no records to the provenance of each item and should I happen to walk in front of a bus the whole collection apart from a few items would then be meaningless.
So giving the collection some thought I will after the exhibition  photograph and list every single item with a special emphasis on the area of the main sands, the harbour and jetty area where Margate's seaside history all began. However I will give the Margate Museum first dibs on any item for their permanent collection once the exhibition ends.This will include all future finds I will make when I resume the digging once the tidal changes next month have a significant effect on the coast. My list of catergories will be (a) Georgian Margate (b) Victorian and Edwardian Margate up until the end of First World War and (c) The 20th century after WW1.

Above is one of my listings found last week. It is a bottle base found in an area where the sand has eroded to the clay base in the bay of Margate main sands. When the effects of sand erosion take place in the bay, glass bottle bases are one of the first things to appear as the sand moves. In a way it does look horrendous to see so much broken glass on the beach. However, I do take two buckets with me and I do pick them all up checking the age of each one. One thing I look for is scarring on the base that is caused when the glass rod used in the blowing process is snapped off, this is known as a pontil mark. Pontil scarring can easily help identify the age of old bottles along with other features like the thickness of the glass and the style of the bottle. Taking all these factors into consideration this bottle base dates between the 1780's and the early 1850's something that is a common find at Margate.

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