I’ve had a lot of offers on my Oxen shoe collection since posting a photo of it on my Facebook page; and since there is so much interest in acquiring these rare and valuable items, I have decided to actually go through with my plans for opening the first Oxen Shoe Museum (pending funding).
You may be wondering just what, exactly, it was that made me decide to go through with it–so I’ll tell you. It was the neat treasure I found at the Elephants Trunk Flea Market in New Milford, CT–hand forged oxen shoes on a plaque. They were obviously considered valuable by the seller, and folks were looking at them.
I stood in awe, as I watched the items I cannot avoid with my E-trac, no matter how I try to walk away from that signal, be purchased by a fascinated flea market patron.
My mind went into overdrive as I imagined the money I could make from my own oxen shoe collection, (should I decide to nix the museum idea and sell them outright). Perhaps I could sell them at the very same flea market? Thank goodness I had stopped throwing them away.
Whats so great about all of this, is that with my acute ability to attract oxen shoes, I am certain that once my supply is exhausted, (through museum display or sale), I will find more–I will definately find more.
And should the popularity of these novelties decline, I still have my spoon collection as a back up. I’m set for life.
Comments on “My Oxen Shoe Museum–Dream or Reality?”
What is it with women collecting shoes?????
I don’t know Bruce–my shoe radar is obviously carrying through to all facets of my life.
Sounds like a great idea! We find many oxen shoes here in Maine and they are always a treat to dig up. I think you should go through with your idea! 🙂
Nice! Don’t think I’d visit a museum, but ox shoes are pretty unusual here in the UK – I suspect ox ploughing (plowing?) was largely a medieval thing, at least in southern England. Oxen were slower than horses, but tougher, and needed less food.
I have a nice donkey shoe somewhere. And I’ve vowed to stop digging horseshoes.
Its hard to imagine a detecting site without oxen shoes. Oh I find horseshoes too, but for some reason they are a more wanted item than an oxen shoe.
I did find 4 Donkey shoes together once, but that was before I saved such things.
I did find 4 Donkey shoes together once, but …
…stopped before you uncovered the rest of the donkey 🙂
Ha ha ha—Love it!
Great idea, Allyson. Go for it!
Contrary to what Charles says, Oxen shoes are not really that unusual in the UK., In Scotland – and before the advent of motorised transport – cattle had to be driven from farms and crofts to fairs where they would be sold and then taken further south..
Once the cattle from the remoter parts of the Highlands reached the trysts around Inverness they would have to be shod. This was because further south they would meet routes with harder surfaces and even the cattle’s hard, cloven hooves could be damaged..
Sometimes two narrow strips of metal would be used on each hoof but often only one shoe was nailed on, to the outer part of the hoof that took the brunt of the weight.
The problem with shoeing cattle is that their legs don’t bend in the same way as horses so that each animal either had to be lifted up on a special gantry or thrown on its side and held down!
It wasn’t only cattle that were shod.. Where I come from (Aylesbury UK) the area was famous for its ducks and geese. For their journey to further parts they were made to waddle through hot pitch or tar, then into grit or sand sand finally into water to cool and harden the mixture.
I saw on a detecting forum last week a guy who said that he had unearthed the world’s smallest horseshoe., only two inches long. What he had found was the shoe from a hobnail boot! I remember my father using them when I was a lad.
Moire information here:
Allyson – coincidentally, a longer version of this post was in line to be posted on a blog I used to have. It won’t happen now.`
Aha, John, I was thinking of plough oxen and had forgotten about droving. I’ve heard about geese having their feet tarred here in Norfolk too. Poor geese, and the drovers must have had a hard time as well.
I read somewhere that map names like “Crabbs Castle” sometimes refer to overnight camping places on the drove roads. Ring any bells with you?
Wow John–very interesting, and amusing as well.
Thank you for sharing, and you should revive that blog!
Never heard of that, Charles, but there are many names associated with droving. For example the name ‘Oxford’ comes from the old term ‘Oxanforda’ which literally meant a shallow crossing in the river where the cattle could cross safely.
Droving was a specialist occupation … here’s a great account of it in Wales.
Thank you John. A fascinating read, especially about the pay and the qualifications needed. I’d no idea drovers were so “respectable” – well, some of them at least.
The castles thing comes from a book about hedges: Hedge Britannia:
“Drovers called a place where they spent the night a ‘castle’ and many local placenames such as Jackdaw’s Castie, Pomfret Castle and Castle Farm in Deddington probably refer to these, rather than to real castles.”
I’d not heard it before.
How about oxen jewelry .
Or ear rings never know,
Could be the next fad’
I think you’ve got an idea there Mike!
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