Styli, pencils and parchment-prickers

Introduction A stylus (plural styli) is a writing implement used to scratch letters into the wax of a writing tablet. A pencil makes a coloured mark on wood, paper or parchment. A writing tablet was usually made from wood or bone and had slightly recessed panels filled with wax (see, for example, the early-medieval Blythburgh …more

Book Mounts

Introduction Copper-alloy mounts were often fixed to medieval and post-medieval book covers to decorate and protect the covers. Most are recognised from their convex domed centres, which prevented the leather of the covers from being rubbed and damaged. Surviving domed mounts still in place on books can be in the centre of each cover, at …more


Introduction The ‘hornbooks’ we record through the PAS are post-medieval lead-alloy alphabet panels, whose name refers to far larger, and better made, tablets, generally wooden, with or without a handle. True hornbooks had printed text on vellum or paper protected by a thin sheet of transparent horn. These usually showed the alphabet or the Lord’s …more

How to Record a Coin

Introduction The main difference between recording a coin (or jetton, token etc) and any other object is that for a coin there is an extra form to complete, in addition to the standard finds form, findspot form, and so on. Coins are standard, mass-produced objects, and the numismatic forms are set up to capture this …more

Seal Matrices

Introduction A seal matrix is normally used for making an impression on a wax seal, to authenticate a document or to fix it closed. They have a design and inscription, usually added to the matrix by engraving, which can bear the name, arms or monogram of their owner. Some specialised matrices may be used for …more


Introduction Purses are pouch-like containers, generally made of leather or fabric, used to store and carry coins.  Metal elements from medieval and early post-medieval purses include the arched hanger onto which the strings of medieval purses were tied, and the purses with metal sub-structures of the late medieval and early post-medieval period.  Metal mounts were …more