Broken segments of spiral fireclay

The following pieces of fireclay were found by Ian Suddaby in the River Carron at Grangemouth.

The segments have a slight twist in them and would appear to have formed a spiral or coil of fireclay.

The pieces found do not fit together and are not stamped.

Ian states:- Three curly pieces of fireclay were found in the River Carron, close to the Novo Seventy bricks. To be honest I thought they were parts of a cast iron chain when they were first spotted but a quick brush soon changed that. None of them fit together but it looks like they formed a spiral. We do have one ‘end’ though and it’s a sort of rounded rectangle in profile, 3½” x 2½”. The rest of the broken bits are nearly round, however, about 3″ thick. The centre of the spiral is about 2″ wide. There are marks on the inner face where it’s been shaped and ridged marks on the outside where they might have been shaped with a scraper type tool. I did think these might be where it was set to dry on a slatted or plank surface but they occupy too much of the curve to have been formed on a flat surface.

Norman Nicolson has suggested these might be part of a Regenerative Burner and sit inside the Media Case (described in the link). They might well be but I haven’t seen any illustrations of these parts which fit the bill. If the Novo bricks came from a steamship perhaps these did too and heated the induction air? Technically, I have no idea.

Below – scale 300mm

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