Volume the 4th
In which I find treasure!
As I am aware that some of my devoted readers are presently now returned to their servitude, and may have more pressing things to do than read my tawdry reminiscences, I shall endeavour to bring you up to date so that you may all complete the week with the latest revelations to sustain you through the days we must be apart.
After a sumptuous breakfast of cereal upon which I sliced strawberries and then inadvertently sprinkled with instant coffee I was surprisingly alert. “What would the day bring?” I asked. Sadly no-one replied as I realised it was only 4.00am.
Determined to make the most of the day I went for a stroll about the grounds.
Kicking at a small pile of mullock next to a demolition site (my careful archaeological enquires have not been abandoned you see) I espied a glinting object. There before me lay fragments of green glass all dappled with iridescence as though an exotic and rare butterfly had just had a collision with a windscreen and fallen obligingly in pieces into the garden bed.
The Don had told me that no evidence of Roman settlement had been found in Oxford but I smiled quietly to myself. “No evidence has been found yet.” I felt compelled to add.
I bent gingerly down and carefully prized several shards from the mould. Was I about to discover a new chapter in Oxford’s history? I knew that all my careful research using Google satellite view was academically sound. I could already see the headlines in the Oxford Mail, “Brilliant Amateur Archaeologist Discovers Roman Temple in Holywell Lane!”
The shard glowed green in the sunlight and I used a larger piece to disinter several more. Suddenly a piece of pottery came into view. My heart leapt. Undoubtedly it was some kind of wine bearing vessel. Then came another piece of glass. A circular boss, nearly complete, showed the letters R C. (Rex Claudius perhaps?) A second piece of pottery emerged and there on the side was stamped a seal which dirt had so ingrained as to be unreadable. At this point several pedestrians came around the corner (what sort of idiots wander the street at 4.30 am?) and I had to hide my finds rapidly in my trusty man bag and hurry away. All the proof was now at my fingertips and I shall tell of the significance of my discoveries in my soon to be published book entitled “What The Dirt Dished Up”.
Having returned home and secreted my finds away for future reference I went to complete my essential business for the day, delivering the promised BBQ sauce to the stricken student, wasting away for lack of this essential condiment. The porter asked for my identification when I arrived at the Balliol gate, but when I jauntily waved my sauce bottle he instinctively understood my purpose and the portals were flung wide.
Sauce delivered, My esteemed colleague and I then set out to further partake of the cultural wonders of Oxford. Debenhams emporium beckoned and we spent an hour marveling at the luxurious and exotic goods. Bags akimbo, we left, and I suggested the Ashmolean as the next stop. Mr A… was strangely unmoved by the proposition and returned to the college to the wonders of Facebook while I stepped through the doors to enjoy 4 hours of uninterrupted wonder at the treasures within.
Quantities of roman statues and Egyptian oddments were of limited appeal. The sarcophagi left me underwhelmed. Each era revealed its detritus in various forms which I passed by with disdain until, stepping onto the second floor, my eyes boggled at the wonders before me.
Cabinet after cabinet of the finest examples of British and European Porcelains with a wonderful assortment of Japanese and Chinese wares as well. The time flew by as you can well imagine while I gazed with wonder at the Vincennes, Sevres, Meissen, Worcester and Chelsea. What philistine would want to miss this?
At last I had to tear myself away from a particularly fascinating Imari saucer to pander to my colleague’s grosser appetites. Our gourmet luncheon of a chicken burger and a refreshing glass of sparkling apple juice was simple but sustaining. I wanted to return to the museum as I was certain I had forgotten to scrutinise the bottom of a rare Sevres Cache Pot but exhaustion had got the better of me and I walked homewards contemplating the wonders of the porcelain room and making plans to return in the near future.
You can read my previous adventures below
- Papa Bouilloire goes to Oxford Chapter 1
- Papa Bouilloire goes to Oxford Chapter 2
- Papa Bouilloire goes to Oxford Chapter 3
- Papa Bouilloire goes to Oxford Chapter 3 continued
Here is a currently gallery of some of my Oxford images. You can visit the relevant posts by clicking on the links under the photos.
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