Found Stuff

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Anonymous

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#1
Just look around; you never know what you’ll find
January 09, 2005

The antique photograph -- the found object -- retains its morbid mojo more than two decades after it tumbled out of an old book I was holding.

I’ve never seen anything quite like it. A man, wearing what seems to be a rubber sheet, his black hair clamped back in rollers, is seated in the center of the photo. He is bleeding profusely from the left side of his head. Blood streams down his face and onto the rubber sheet, where the camera captures its sheen.

A man wearing something resembling a butcher’s apron over his suit grasps the bleeding man’s head, pulling the skin of his cheek back toward his ear, as if to expose the wound. Clustered around them are five younger men, wearing suits, ties and what appear to be 19th-century regimental caps. All of them gawk and stare at the bleeding man, except for one who looks directly into the camera with a killingly cold eye.

But that’s not the spookiest part of the photo. In the background -- almost too faint to show up in the old print -- is a painting of the Madonna and Child.

The photograph was hidden away in a book that came from the library of a doctor’s old-maid daughter. I can’t recall the/stitle -- its spinster owner favored saccharine poetry and Victorian travel guides -- but I remain haunted by the photo.

If you like to wade through the untidy world of junk shops, auctions and estate sales, you probably know that second-hand books are a primary source of found objects -- things that people either have deliberately hidden away or used as page markers and forgotten.

Sometimes these objects can be as sentimental as a pressed flower or a lock of a loved one’s hair. They may be shockingly personal as well.

Interviewed in Found magazine, an offbeat journal devoted to these kinds of discoveries, a former clerk in the Boston area tells about a woman who came in to sell a stack of old books when a photo fell out of one of them.

“It was a picture of her, naked, in the midst of a strip poker game," he says.

The nude photograph lay there between them for a long, silent second. Then the woman slammed her hand down over the picture, snatched it up and ripped it to shreds.

After that, of course, the clerk was hooked. He began closely examining every volume coming into the store.

The things he found were remarkable, like Wolf Blitzer’s business card from back when he worked for the Jerusalem Post, or Archies Fan Club membership cards. He also recovered notes, receipts, bumper stickers, journal entries, letters, birth announcements, $600 in cash, death certificates, sketches, a handwritten will, efforts at poetry and lots of interesting photos.

Found magazine -- devoted to “the best lost, tossed and forgotten items from around the world" -- is full of this stuff. Letters left lying on the streets. Shopping lists discarded in grocery carts (“beer/meat/dog food/boloney/bread/sanka" reads one that the magazine editors titled “Health Nut"). Achingly juvenile missives swept up from school floors (custodians are among Found’s major contributors). Nasty notes left on people’s windshields. Things that defy (or invite) explanation, like the crudely scrawled message on a piece of crumpled notebook paper, found in Charleston, Ill., that reads “IT STAYED ON THE GRILL BITCH!"

“Missing Cat," announces a neatly printed notice someone found in Ann Arbor, Mich. “Grey and white fat cat. Answers to Jack and Food."

That’s marginally better than the name on the flier of another lost cat, this time in Los Angeles: “Bitchy."

“Missing a chicken?" asks a posting from Harper’s Ferry, Va. “If you or anyone you know is missing a chicken, please call ..."

Items like these only begin to suggest the breathtaking range of things just waiting to be found.

So much was mailed into Found magazine that its creator, Davy Rothbart, compiled the best findings into a book.

Titled “Found" (what else?), the collection takes the reader on a wild rampage through the human experience.

One correspondent writes about her interest in lost or discarded keys.

“Whenever I find a key, it’s a big event," she writes. “I’ve trained myself to note what I was thinking the instant I spot one; sometimes the thought proves to be a key to a door inside that needs opening."

She’s from Berkeley, Calif., wouldn’t you know. A photo of some of her found keys, taped to a board and arranged in a circle, accompanies her ode to opening.

Other Found correspondents report finding objects about -- well, finding things. One mailed in a note he found, written in a callous scrawl, that reads “Guess What Cindy found the cancer The skin cancer this morning."

Another, recovered from the nation’s capital, reads simply, “We might be able to find."

There are poignant found objects as well, like the letter, found on a rain-soaked street in Erie, Pa.

The author was a cook, working for $6.50 an hour. From the letter, we learn that his dad, in Arizona, is planning to rent a mobile home for $100 a week.

The son tries to write encouragingly, saying he wants to get $49 together to take a bus out to see his father and maybe even rent an apartment nearby if there are any cook jobs available.

"I can cook some meals up for us got a grill and can cook on that," the son writes. “Also I got a lot of CDs like AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Over Kill, Metallica, Pink Floyd ... we can jam out and have lots of fun.

“(IMPORTANT DAD)
“I’m going to send you some stamps so you can wright me back and I’m going give you a calling card so you can call me ..."

The terrible loneliness that divides them echoes between every line.

I thumbed through the book looking for an antidote. A list found in Edmonton, Alberta supplied it.

Apparently written as instructions to the leader of a wedding band, it rivals the Capital One TV advertisement in its list of 'no’s."

“No Macarena, No Grease Stuff, No Country/Western (only 1) (if request), No New Hustle (not Stevie Wonder)" “No Group Dancing, No Drop the Bomb, No Superfreak, No 50’s, No Green Day, No Lady in Red."

So what music would suffice for this wedding party? “Two polkas," reads a note in the margin. “Big Band."

At the bottom is an addendum, penned in an apparent afterthought: “No Garter, No Bouquet."

No fun.

Alabama gets its due in “Found." A Birmingham reader mailed in a note she picked up that says “Don’t Ask Don’t Know More info. In Hat."

A series of photos, found in the parking lot of The Home Depot in Montgomery, shows a sleeping or drunken Auburn fan being dressed by two friends in an Alabama shirt. A note explains the significance of this daring deed for out-of-state readers.

It’s not in the book but one of the more interesting found objects that I know of is a note found taped to the windshield of a car outside the old Chukker bar one night. “From the one that cut you," it read.

It shocked and puzzled the guy who found it. He hadn’t been cut at all.

Tim Reed -- a visual artist and musician who issued a series of delightfully demented albums that are now cultists’ collectors’ items -- figured it was a case of mistaken identity. But he was so taken by the message that he used it as the title for one of his Rev. Fred Lane Shimmy Disc recordings.

There is, granted, an element of voyeurism (or worse) in all of this poking, rooting and finding. Yet, as Found’s Rothbart writes, the discoveries offer “a shortcut directly to people’s minds and hearts ... It’s startling and it’s magical."

The response to “Found" magazine has been so startlingly successful, in fact, that the enterprise branched out to include a new publication, “Dirty Found," devoted to raunchier discoveries. I haven’t explored that one yet; information on the whole Found shebang is available on the Internet at www.foundmagazine.com.

I do recommend the Found book highly, though be warned in advance that it has some raunch of its own. It’s not pornographic, however -- just twisted or interesting or both, like almost everything else the book chronicles.

I spent an hour or so poring over it before the bug hit me. I had to get out into the street.

I’m perfectly suited, temperamentally and physically, to be a finder. I’ve been a rummager and a packrat for as long as I can remember, and surgery on my neck five years ago left me naturally inclined to look down.

Fired up by Found, I grabbed my walking staff and set out in the neighborhood to see what I could discover.

There were lots of castaway things, but little to write home (or even to an eccentric magazine) about. They were mostly of the tossed-beer-can and used-Christmas-tree variety. Someone had even thrown three big pumpkins down a wooded ravine alongside a road not far from our house.

But there was something else, as well -- a pile of rained-on baskets, boxes and bags dumped around a road sign.

I poked around with my staff. It was something of a mishmash: little glass cups wrapped in newspaper, bleeding Christmas cards, bits of plastic.

But hey, what’s this? Two cassette tapes.

I fished them out. Def Leppard, the English metal band; and acerbic “comedian" Sam Kinison, who died in a car crash in 1993.

Not my cup of tea, but I hung on to them. I tried them out when I got home, and both actually played.

I thought about what the Berkeley woman wrote about discoveries opening doors and tried to make a case for finding hard-edged rock and comedy among the Salvation Army store place settings. But I never quite made it fit.

Then I thought of a postcard that shook out of a junk shop book I bought a couple of weeks ago. It’s something about jazz but written totally in Hebrew.

But this stuff wasn’t even in the same league with the found objects in Rothbart’s book and magazine.

A find that a friend at work passed on to me recently is a different story, however.

His wife was at a chain store in Tuscaloosa that had one of those newfangled photo machines. You stick in your digital camera card and it spits out the pictures you’ve selected.

In the tray was a heavy-duty found object -- as spooky in its own way as the head-cutting photo from the doctor’s daughter’s book.

It’s a picture of a graveside service. A line of six white tombstones cuts across the front of the photo; a mortuary tent embossed with “Oaklawn Memorial Garden" stretches across the upper right corner. Mourners, male and female, are ringed in a semi-circle around the tent.

They all wear Ku Klux Klan robes -- the women in white, the men in scarlet.

Directly in front of the tent is a contingent of 10 men in green outfits wearing gold helmets, apparently serving as some kind of honor guard. In the background is a circular wreath with the UKA -- United Klans of America -- logo.

“What happens to pictures people leave behind?" the finder asked a clerk at the store.

“Oh, we usually put them up here on the counter," she answered cheerfully.

“You want me to leave THIS up there?" asked the finder, placing the Klan funeral photo in front of the clerk.

She blanched.

“I don’t think so."

But my friend knew exactly where to take it.

The picture is so unusual that I toyed for a while with the notion of having it framed.

Thankfully, I decided against it. I’ve found a better place for it.

Some day, someone who opens my old copy of Rothbart’s “Found" book will have an interesting surprise.

Reach Editorial Editor Ben Windham at (205) 722-0193 or by e-mail at [email protected].. Feel free to tell him about your finds, which may wind up in a future column.

http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/apps/pbcs ... 90362/1027

http://www.foundmagazine.com/
___________________________________________________

sureshot
 

carole

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#2
Interesting, sureshot!

Most interesting photo I found in a charity shop bought book was a large b/w photo of what looked like 3 brothers with wifes/girlfriends and their parents. From the early 70s judging by clothes and hairstyles. All the younger men had rather smug expressions on their faces and all the girlfriends looked bored to tears.

Carole
 
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#3
I love Found magazine. I think it's in the FT website Links section somewhere.

Coincidentally I was flicking through this book in Manchester earlier on today. Similar kind of idea with a few very bizarre photographs in it.
 

Imperial_Call

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#5
I used to work in a cinema and we used to find stuff when we were sweeping up the popcorn between features ... loads of money, scarves, a dud mobile phone (battery and SIM card removed), a watch, a new looking suede jacket ... can't remember what else. Don't think we ever found an umberella oddly enough...
 
A

Anonymous

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#6
In a Victorian Family Bible bought from a car book for 5p a silk book mark commemorating Captain Webb's heroic channel crossing swim.. a friends who last year lived in a van, awoke one morning in Tesco Cambornes car park to find a yellow "Post It" note neatly written, with the words... PIKEY SCUM on it attached to the windscreen.
 
A

Anonymous

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#7
I found the book in the library and devoured it in a day. It takes you from head-scratching oddities to some of the saddest loneliness to laugh-out-loud hilarity. The sad ones stuck with me. :sob:
 

BaronVonHoopla

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#8
Sureshot,

I just bought that book for my wife for Xmas, funnily enough. And I have to agree with Midnight, while some of the pieces are hilarious, its the sad ones which will haunt me.

The story about the young cook you talk about is absolutely heartbreaking. he must mention that he wants his father to write back about five times, and begins each sentence with "Dad,". I hope he got in touch with him.

I think that Found, while admittedly voyeuristic, encourages empathy.

-Fitz
 

decipheringscars

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#9
I went to France in the summer of 1989... but my luggage went to London. When I got back to New York, my luggage (one large duffel bag that opened on the end) was intact, but with the addition of a Supertramps cassette tape! (Nothing I wanted...)

A bit more intriguing, though - I bought a desk at a flea market, and when I got it home and was cleaning it out, there was a thank-you card that read something along the lines of "Thank you for all your help during Betty's illness" - the "Betty's illness" phrase is what I remember precisely. I wonder if I still have that card somewhere...
 

Leaferne

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#10
We used to find all sorts of things in the scanners in the computer labs at work...mebbe I'll have a looksee next time I have to tend them...
 

fluffle9

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#11
when i moved into a house once one of the previous tennants appeared to have moved as if going on the run, leaving almost everything she owned including naked photos and a vibrator.

in my current house we found that more stuff was missing off the inventory, presumed stolen, than left behind, although there was some rat poison, a cupboard full of shoes and a hell of a lot of cutlery down the back of the sofa including a six-inch kitchen knife (lucky we spotted that before sitting down!).

living in a student area it's surprising how often you find underpants on the street. :cross eye
 
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When my brother and his wife moved into the house they now live in they found a box full of exercise books in the loft. These turned out to be the voluminous diaries of a teenage girl who had lived in the house in the 70's and which mainly chronicled her growing obsession with a man who walked past the house every day to and from work. Over three years she wrote thousands and thousands of lines on a bloke she had never spoken to.

When I moved into my flat, an enormous semi-derelict Edwardian barn of a place, and started work on it I found a full packet of hundred year old woodbines under the floorboards along with several empty boxes of Puck matches and a small bottle which according to the label had once contained laudanum. The woman I bought the place off claimed to be a white witch and occasionally I find bits of paper slotted between the floorboards with what I take to be spells or incantations written on them. They don't bother me much but I had a bit more of a turn when I found the skeleton of a frog underneath the floorboards in the hallway facing the front door. Actually I quite like the idea of a fag-smoking, laudanum-addicted amphibian with a penchant for doggerel residing under my flooboards - more interesting than mice I suppose!
 

beakboo1

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#13
We bought this house with contents, well most of them, and found some interesting things. A large box full of knitting patterns from the 1930s to the 1980s, which kept us amused for a while, especially the "gollywog teacosy" pattern.
We also found live ammunition, and when the vendor's son took it to the police station, they said they couldn't take it and sent him away with it again :shock: :roll: I don't know what he did with it in the end, anyway it's not here any more.
 

zygmunt_rocks_on

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#14
I pulled down a lath-and-plaster wall in our Victorian house, and there was a beautifully illustrated flyer for a long-defunct local department store in the cavity. Given the fashions of the people on it, it must have been delevered when the workmen were building the house in 1897. I'm going to frame it. In the garden, I found part of the timing mechanism of the bomb that had landed on the house next door during WW2.


When I was at college, a friend moved into a room vacated by a student with 'issues' who'd done a runner. She'd left most of her stuff behind, including several carrier bags full of er... human excrement :shock:
 

zygmunt_rocks_on

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#15
I pulled down a lath-and-plaster wall in our Victorian house, and there was a beautifully illustrated flyer for a long-defunct local department store in the cavity. Given the fashions of the people on it, it must have been delevered when the workmen were building the house in 1897. I'm going to frame it. In the garden, I found part of the timing mechanism of the bomb that had landed on the house next door during WW2.


When I was at college, a friend moved into a room vacated by a student with 'issues' who'd done a runner. She'd left most of her stuff behind, including several carrier bags full of er... human excrement :shock:
 

hecate10

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#16
We opened a kitchen cupboard at a house we moved into years ago - and found a double barrelled shotgun standing incongruously among brooms, an old ironing board and a vacuum cleaner ....

At least it broke the ice with the new neighbours, as we immediately phoned the police to come and remove it. Curtains were twitching like crazy as a police car zoomed up, spilling constables all over, who raced up the garden path. The sight of them going back to their vehicle with the weapon in an 'exhibits' polythene bag being carefully held aloft by one of the pc's was a sight I shall long cherish. The neighbours all thought a family of gangsters was moving into their quiet midst ...
 
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#17
How about unfound?

We moved into a house that is next to property where my dad is building a house. He lives out of state, and when the old woman who had been in the house decided to move to a retirement home, my father bought the house so that we (husband and I) could keep an eye on things... and he would have a place with running water when he comes to work on the house.

We got the tour of the basement (furnace, water heater, etc) from the son-in-law of the former owners. We found a watch, and the son-in-law said, "Yes, I think that is John's..." (John was his deceased father-in-law.) "...You know what is weird, though, is we couldn't find his wallet when he died. He always would put it on a shelf or something and forget about it for a while. It's got to be in the house somewhere. We just never could find it."

I told him that if it turned up, we'd get it back to him.

Then he continued, "The other thing we couldn't find is an old gun he got from a friend at the Colt factory. It was from World War II, and his friend got it out before it had a serial number put on it. John got worried about having it around, so he wanted to hide it. I think he put it in the walls of the house somewhere."

We have plans to do some major renovation in the next few years. Wonder what will surface.
 
A

Anonymous

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#18
The house we are living in now has been rented out continuously since the late 70's. As a result there is an astonishing amount of stuff in the loft, left by previous tenants, including an early 80's porn stash.

In amongst all this were a set of photos from a holiday. Most of these pictures were of a couple in their early twenties. And most of these pictures have been 'altered' with a pair of scissors so that the man has been literally cut out.

There's a story there, and I think it includes a less than amicable end to a relationship.
 

escargot

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#19
The house I live in now has a huge attic which was full of junk when we moved in. (Even worse now. :( )

We found a full-sized rocking horse and a very long ladder, dunno how they got them up there as we couldn't get them down again! :?
 

rynner2

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#20
Multimillion-dollar photo of Billy the Kid playing croquet was $2 junk shop find
The image, unearthed in Fresno, California is only the second confirmed picture of the outlaw – the other sold for $2.3m in 2011
Peter Walker
Tuesday 13 October 2015 13.48 BST

Henry McCarty, known in Wild West lore as Billy the Kid, lived a brief and violent life, stealing and killing before his death in a gunfight aged 21. He lived with a gun in his hand – and sometimes, it seems, a croquet mallet.
In a surprising historical twist, the second photo ever authenticated as showing McCarty shows him and his posse, the Regulators, playing the sport in New Mexico in 1878.

The faded image was among a pile of photos inside a cardboard box at a junk shop in Fresno, California, unearthed by a collector in 2010. Randy Guijarro paid $2 (£1.30) for the image, which is now estimated to be worth millions of dollars. The only other confirmed photo of Billy the Kid, from 1880, sold for $2.3m (£1.5m) in 2011.

The photo was authenticated by a San Francisco-based Americana company, Kagin’s, which identified Billy the Kid along with several members of the Regulators, as well as friends and family. It was taken after a wedding in the summer of 1878, just a month after the gang took part in the brutal Lincoln County war.
When the photo was first brought to the company, its experts were “understandably sceptical”, said David McCarthy from Kagin’s. “An original Billy the Kid photo is the holy grail of Western Americana.
“We had to be certain that we could answer and verify where, when, how and why this photograph was taken. Simple resemblance is not enough in a case like this – a team of experts had to be assembled to address each and every detail in the photo to ensure that nothing was out of place.”

The team spent a year investigating the photo, and even found the location where it was taken, in Chaves County, New Mexico. There they unearthed the remains of the building shown. “We found the old lumber underneath,” said Jeff Aiello, director of a National Geographic Channel documentary on the find, scheduled to be broadcast this month. “We found those exact rock piers are still there.”

Liz Larsson, from the UK’s Croquet Association, said the series of photos from the scene left little doubt what game was being played: “It’s clearly croquet. You can see the hoops, the balls, the mallet, the centre peg. They’re all there. It’s a fascinating picture.”

etc...

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/13/billy-the-kid-croquet-junk-shop-two-dollars
 

Swifty

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#21
We had some work done on the roof of our house about three years ago. One of the workmen brought down a broadsheet newspaper, The Cromer & North Walsham Post dated April the 29th, 1899. The earlier house owners had used it to stuff a draught hole in the loft. It was still flexible but covered in soot being placed next to what was the chimney.

I used a make-up blusher brush to get the soot off and we've got it in a frame although now it's becoming very brittle. I loaned it to a local printing company on the understanding that they would make a print of it so we could read the smaller details without damaging the original, they were too scared to take it out of the frame but we were gifted with a bottle of wine because the printing company in question is both advertised on the news sheet ad and still going today.

It's issue No.485 and older than any others found so far in both Cromer and Norwich museums .. it was "REGISTED FOR TRANSMISION BOTH IN THIS UNITED KINGDOM AND TO PLACES ABROAD" .... you could buy three pounds of strawberry jam for 1/2 at Hove's Store and J.J.Harvey & Sons would sort you out if you wanted baby carriages ..You could even hire a piano from A.H.Bullen's ! .... the back has some writing about the then Prince and Princess of Wales but I don't want to damage it any further ! ..

My only idea so far to preserve it is to carefully varnish it with hairspray but if anyone can point me in the direction of a more professional and patient approach then thanks in advance ..
 
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#22
We had some work done on the roof of our house about three years ago. One of the workmen brought down a broadsheet newspaper, The Cromer & North Walsham Post dated April the 29th, 1899. The earlier house owners had used it to stuff a draught hole in the loft. It was still flexible but covered in soot being placed next to what was the chimney.

I used a make-up blusher brush to get the soot off and we've got it in a frame although now it's becoming very brittle. I loaned it to a local printing company on the understanding that they would make a print of it so we could read the smaller details without damaging the original, they were too scared to take it out of the frame but we were gifted with a bottle of wine because the printing company in question is both advertised on the news sheet ad and still going today.

It's issue No.485 and older than any others found so far in both Cromer and Norwich museums .. it was "REGISTED FOR TRANSMISION BOTH IN THIS UNITED KINGDOM AND TO PLACES ABROAD" .... you could buy three pounds of strawberry jam for 1/2 at Hove's Store and J.J.Harvey & Sons would sort you out if you wanted baby carriages ..You could even hire a piano from A.H.Bullen's ! .... the back has some writing about the then Prince and Princess of Wales but I don't want to damage it any further ! ..

My only idea so far to preserve it is to carefully varnish it with hairspray but if anyone can point me in the direction of a more professional and patient approach then thanks in advance ..
Try asking at local museums and art galleries - see if you can get to speak to a conservator if you can. Or try looking online for museum conservation.
(I wouldn't try the hairspray just yet)
 

Ghost In The Machine

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#23
Too obscure a paper to be digitised, I bet. Otherwise we could have looked up the entire issue which would have been cool!

As a kid I found all kinds of things in our garden - a (probably WW1 era) Royal Horse Artillery cap-badge; an 1861 penny - bakelite light fittings and once, most memorably with a friend, an entire life sized carved wooden head (not rotted away so got to be stolen not long before from somewhere and dumped?) We had an orchard that had no proper fence at the bottom and were always finding random people trespassing, so pretty well anyone in the village could walk through at any time... The wooden carved head was the coolest. However, the kids from the next garden along stole it from us...

Best thing found in a secondhand book was, my husband was rooting around the costume history books at a secondhand book shop in Malvern, years ago. There was an obscurer book by the historian Phillis Cunnngton, a book he'd wanted for ages. As he browsed in it, a typewritten letter fell out.... from Phillis Cunnington. Turned out it was a copy she must have sent to a friend as she was telling her about the book. I keep meaning to donate it to Platt Hall in Manc, which I think has her costume collection. Husband shut the book, paid for it without a word about the bonus inside, and showed me when we got outside the shop.;)
 

Swifty

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#24
Try asking at local museums and art galleries - see if you can get to speak to a conservator if you can. Or try looking online for museum conservation.
(I wouldn't try the hairspray just yet)
Yeah ... the hairspray could work but then afterwards I have to put this paper down onto something which will cause it to stick onto whatever I place it on ... the museum angle is my first idea, I've taken stuff into the local museum before, it's just finding the time to be honest. I'd prefer to conserve it myself but if I'm not 100% certain that I can do it myself, I'm not going to risk wrecking it ..
 

Frideswide

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#25
Don't DIY. Get thee to the museum or archaeology service young man!

Hairspray chemicals could well interact with the ink (and possibly the paper). Certainly hairspray dissolves many of the things it touches in this house, including the labels on other cosmetics :eek:

Which is one reason why it's not used here any more :banghead:
 

Fluttermoth

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#26
I found the unglazed clay arm from a small Victorian (I'm guessing) doll in my parent's garden when we were digging a pond. A few years later, I found a leg, with a glazed brown shoe in a flowerbed!

As they were the same size, I'm guessing they were from the same doll; probably thrown out when the head broke, as the heads were usually hollow. The body would have been leather or cloth, so that's obviously rotted away; the clay parts have a ridge at the top where the material would have been gathered around them.

I intended to dig over the rest of the garden, bit by bit, to find the other arm and leg, but I never got around to it, and my parents moved a few years ago, so I will never find them now :(
 
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#28
I found the unglazed clay arm from a small Victorian (I'm guessing) doll in my parent's garden when we were digging a pond. A few years later, I found a leg, with a glazed brown shoe in a flowerbed!

As they were the same size, I'm guessing they were from the same doll; probably thrown out when the head broke, as the heads were usually hollow. The body would have been leather or cloth, so that's obviously rotted away; the clay parts have a ridge at the top where the material would have been gathered around them.

I intended to dig over the rest of the garden, bit by bit, to find the other arm and leg, but I never got around to it, and my parents moved a few years ago, so I will never find them now :(
Doll's Graveyard. There's a ghost story waiting to be written.
 

Ermintruder

Delineated by a professional cryptozoologist
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#29
I intended to dig over the rest of the garden, bit by bit, to find the other arm and leg, but I never got around to it, and my parents moved a few years ago, so I will never find them now :(
Make a couple of limb reverse molds using brush-on latex, creating a 'pull' copy, ensuring it's thinner than usual, then (unconventionally) pop it inside-out.

Mix some plaster-of-paris, with added paint powder to match the colour of the glazed pottery pieces. Use a dampened tea-bag to add patina, then laquer each of the two parts with thinned varnish. Get a porcelain or china dolls head from Etsy or Ebay, and either make from scratch a body or buy one.

Dress the doll suitably, then ask it if it's happy with the finished result. If it says 'no', at least you've tried your best.
 
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