Stirrup-strap Mounts

Stirrup-strap mounts are thickly cast objects, generally of broadly triangular or of trapezoidal form and characteristically with a flange projecting from the lower edge of the reverse.  They tend to measure between around 35mm-50mm high and around 25-35mm wide, with examples only occasionally falling outside these ranges.  Examples will be of copper alloy, generally with iron rivets where they survive.   Their function was to protect the stirrup strap where it looped through the loop at the apex of an iron stirrup.  Use appears confined to the late early-medieval period, into the medieval.

Stirrup-strap mounts have been classified by Williams (1997), with minor additions by Webley (2014) in continuation of the Williams classification.  Williams has divided stirrup-strap mounts into three unequal ‘Classes’ based on shape and decoration.  Class A examples tend to be broadly triangular, with a rivet (hole) at their apex and a pair of rivet holes at their base; the Class is further divided into seventeen ‘Types’.  Class B examples tend to be trapezoidal or sub-rectangular, often openwork, with angled flanges and facing animal heads; the Class is further divided into four ‘Types’, which are each sub-divided into ‘Groups’.  Class C mounts tend to be formally like Class A examples but are larger and feature projecting side lugs; the Class has been split into two ‘Groups’.

PAS object type(s) to be used

Use STIRRUP for these mounts

PAS object classifications and sub-classifications to be used

For all stirrup-strap mounts use ‘strap mount’ in the Classification field

Williams’s classification can be used for the Sub Classification field.  Use in this format: Williams Class B, Type 3, Group 8

Terms to use in the description

Terms used for stirrup-strap mounts
Terms used for stirrup-strap mounts (image copyright PAS; CC-BY)

Stirrup-strap mounts can have an apex loop or upper fixing holes at their uppermost side, and a flange protruding from the lower edge of the reverse.  Flanges can be of common right anglesteppedangled or rolled type (Williams 1997, 25; fig. 18).  They are sometimes decorated in versions of the Late Viking art styles of Ringerike or Urnes (regarding which see Kershaw 2010).

How to take measurements

Stirrup-strap mounts have a length from the base to the apex, and a width at right angles to this.  The flange width can be measured because it can give a sense of the width of the stirrup strap; it does not always extend across the full width of the base, rather it can project as a narrower tab.  Thickness can be measured including or excluding the flange, with this specified in the Object Description field.

Date

Use appears to have been confined to the late early-medieval period, with continuation into the medieval period (11th and 12th centuries AD).  It is hard to separate types of mounts by period; most straddle early medieval and medieval.

Examples

Class A, Type 11A stirrup-strap mount
Williams Class A, Type 11A stirrup-strap mount
Williams Class B, Type 2, Group 3 stirrup-strap mount
Williams Class B, Type 2, Group 3 stirrup-strap mount
Williams Class C, Group 1 stirrup-strap mount
Williams Class C, Group 1 stirrup-strap mount

 

 

 

 

 

 

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References

Williams 1997