Looking at the Evidence

A friend contacted me to see if I could tell him more about one of his favourite finds, a seal matrix, found on a farm in Hertfordshire. Alas, it is not the best of images and I have only one view. This is what I know; It is set in a copper alloy mount with a small amount of remaining gilding and looks very much like a a masonic seal – but with a difference. I haven’t seen any emblems or images in freemasonry showing two pairs of compasses on top of one another, and in that configuration.

I asked masonic friends and showed them the image, but they were unable to help. There was another avenue of enquiry, and I decided to ‘go to the top’.

Continue reading “Looking at the Evidence”

Australian Trench Art

‘Trench art’ is a term that embraces a wide variety of objects made from the debris and by-products of modern warfare. These items are chiefly associated with the First World War, although similar items have been produced in many conflicts.

The term is probably a misnomer as it is doubtful whether items were ever made in the trenches, but by servicemen to pass time when not in the front line. I would have thought that some of the more sophisticated examples required metal- working skills and workshop facilities.

The following artefacts were found in the vicinity of old Australian WW2 campsites. Rob Canavan of Brisbane thought that ihe had uncovered another piece of scrap metal, but after giving the item a few wipes he discovered an intriguing item made from an Aussie ‘kangaroo’ penny.

‘Kangaroo’ Penny

Kim (aka Coin Ranger) also found one very similar, but from a different location. He wondered if both had been fashioned by the same soldier and how many were made. He reckoned that it would take real talent and no two would be the same. Could it have been a little money-maker on the side, selling to other soldiers?

Adapted from an article first published here in 2012.

Kangaroo Leather Pouch

Pouch made from Kangaroo Leather with Bendigo Prospector’s Club Logo on the Base


Everything seems to be going tits up at the moment. I won’t bore you with the details, but I didn’t feel myself. That’s summat me old Ma [bless her] used to warn me about. She was wrong . . . although I do wear glasses!

I was expecting a packet in the post from Down Under, but didn’t expect it arriving today. Bucked me up no end! Nestling inside was a unique hand folded kangaroo leather coin purse – made in Australia, of course. I was thrilled. The smell of leather wafted under my nose; was it one of those souvenirs of Australia made from a roo’s scrotum, I wondered

I would like to publicly give my warmest thanks to my friend RAY SWINNERTON for his thoughtful and welcome gift. Thank you Ray! I see that you even included 50 cents towards a coffee.

Ray with the John Winter Award
This news was on my first blog, but was lost in the big meltdown. Good on yer Cobber