Friday, June 24, 2011

The Cow Code

Now that we have finished most of the first phase of our renovation, we have more time to look for cool things around our new neighbourhood.  I love to check out the places selling antiques and other vintage and old pieces of things.  Always looking for one thing or another.  Lately I have been trawling on line and browsing the old shops for vintage stencils.  Particularly looking for  stencils with whole words on them, or logos (I have nice sets with alpha numerics).  In my recent looking about, I found something that looked like stencils.  But turns out it was not.  They are Cow Tags.

I have never seen cow tags before.  Apparently in this area in the late 1800s, cows and cattle had to be registered, in a scheme much like pet dogs are now.  The animals then wore a metal tag with a number outline punched in the tag (like a stencil, so you see how I found these...) and also with imprint of a registration number and initials for the area or council the animal was registered in.  The tag also has a hole punched in the top for attaching to a leather or rope collar.  I guess that is what a cow's collar might have been made of, but really am not quite sure of that.  According to what I have learned, we do not know the name of the animal that wore a particular tag (pity, I would actually like to have known their names !).

I got three of these in one place and a fourth in another.  I am told they are a bit hard to come by anymore.  The tags are a bit rusty, but I think they are a pretty cool item to have found.

I collected a small number of cow creamers in December (see post Stampede to the New Year).  I thought it could be nice to display the cows and the antique cow tags together.  A farm - cow theme  happening here?

Separately, I have acquired a set of small tiles with numbers on them.  Maybe they are house numbers, not really sure.  I do not have a complete set of all numbers, but do have a few repeats.  I am thinking to embed them in the wall of one of the areas when we build the extension.  Perhaps a vertical stripe of black tiles with numbers running down some part of wall.  I just like the numbers and white numbers against black background is very striking.

I photographed the tiles, plus a few extra snazzy green ones, which sport "7" on them.  One of them will be used for Ian's shed (7 is his lucky number), maybe at the door.  As I photographed the set of them, I realised that I have a repeat in the black and white tiles of the numbers stamped into the cow tags.  Some of you will know I like patterns and codes...and also that I believe there is no such thing as a coincidence !  So, these are now known here as the Cow Code.  (that would be 2458, just in case you couldn't tell)

What we shall do with such a profound notion and arrangement, I am not exactly sure.  More trivial and thoughts perhaps in the next post ;)

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