Hammer late 17C or early 18th C

Click for a Closer LookFound (this century ) in Thames River near Hammersmith (London, England). Some river bottom mud still remains. The handle is a proper replacement. There are hundreds and hundreds of different types of hammers, each designed for a different task or are distinctive of the style of a region (One private collection contains over three thousand variations). Hammers range from 10,000 year old hammerstones that could flake flint and form a spearhead. To ornate "gentleman's tools" of the Victorian period that were designed to do not much of anything. To large framing hammers designed to hammer together a house. Get a closer view of the object (40KB).   

"The mud-larks collect whatever they happen to find, such as coals, bits of old-iron, rope, bones, and copper nails that drop from ships while lying or repairing along shore. Copper nails are the most valuable of all the articles they find, but these they seldom obtain, as they are always driven from the neighborhood of a ship while being new sheathed....[on interviewing a nine year old boy] Some days he earned 1d. [one pence], and some days 4d.; he never earned 8d. in one day, that would have been a "jolly lot of money." He never found a saw or a hammer, he "only wished" he could, they would be glad to get hold of them at the dolly’s [junk shop].""

Excerpt from "London Labor and The London Poor" Volume 2, pg. 156. By Henry Mayhew London 861. reprinted Dover Publications 1968. Henry Mayhew’s four volume opus was a compendium of articles detailing the poverty and misery of London’s poorer populations. The series was originally started and published in the Morning Chronicle (London) between 1849 and 1850 and completed in 1861 - 1862. His work was instrumental in starting the reform movement. The excerpt was included to show the contemporary toward tools and property and how much they were held in value. Tools like most things of the period were essentially hand made and consequently were expensive and treasured.

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