Pendent Loops

Introduction

Pendent loops are small copper-alloy looped objects that hung from medieval bar mounts with integral hooked ends.  Two such hanging loops found on the same strap in London suggest that other objects could have been suspended from them, perhaps knives or purses (Egan and Pritchard 2002, 219, 221; fig. 138, bottom).  Certain forms can be hard to distinguish from contemporary buckle frames and strap-slides, but are generally smaller, and lack the external ridges of the buckles, and the rivets of the strap-slides.

PAS object type to be used

Use STRAP FITTING

PAS object classification and sub-classification to be used

Use ‘pendent loop’ in the classification field

Where the pendent loop is attached to the bar mount in sub-classification use ‘bar mount and pendent loop’

Terms to use in the description

Published examples cover the basic forms (see Egan and Pritchard 2002, 221; fig. 138; Egan in Griffiths et al. 2007, 126; pl. 21; Read 2016, 29; nos 172-175): circular, trefoil, quatrefoil.  However, the PAS database gives the best sense of the range of forms used for pendent loops, including some of the more unusual, elaborate ones (e.g. NMS-20E403), although one such is published – an approximately D-shaped loop with knops at the corners of the base (Egan and Pritchard 2002, 221; no. 1193).

Some pendent loops are simple examples of the above forms.  Others are slightly more refined and have a flattening at the point of suspension, where the loop is constricted, and sometimes offset.  Embellishment in the form of knops, drilled holes or engraved lines is rare.

Date

Most examples from London come from contexts dated to c. 1350-1400 (Egan and Pritchard 2002, 26, 219; fig. 13), while one from St Aldate’s, Oxford, was found in a context dated to c. 1325-1400 (Goodall 1977, 152; fig. 31, no. 80).  A particular form is analogous to buckles with a collared knop at the centre of a long D-shaped frame (Egan and Pritchard 2002, 94; no. 421, classifiable as Cassels type 1.5C), as well as strap-slides of similar form (Egan in Griffiths et al. 2007, 129; e.g. no. 1360).  Contextual dating for these also centres on the late 14th century; it has been suggested that these might all have been used together on straps (Egan and Pritchard 2002, 94).

Examples

Medieval pendent loop (SUR-9024E2)
Medieval circular pendent loop (SUR-9024E2) (Copyright: Surrey County Council; CC-BY licence)
Medieval pendent loop (SOM-21AE87)
Medieval pendent loop (SOM-21AE87).
(Copyright: The Portable Antiquities Scheme; CC-BY licence)
Medieval pendent loop (WILT-F76464)
Medieval trefoil pendent loop, retained by its bar mount (WILT-F76464).
(Copyright: Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum; CC-BY licence)
Medieval pendent loop (SUR-1C21D0
Medieval pendent loop (SUR-1C21D0).
(Copyright: Berkshire Archaeology; CC-BY licence)

Search for all examples of pendent loops

Key references

Egan and Pritchard 2002

Egan in Griffiths et al. 2007