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.