WMID-048F56: Post Medieval to Modern complete cast copper alloy 'manilla' plan view

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
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CURRENCY BAR

Unique ID: WMID-048F56

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

A Post Medieval to Modern complete cast copper alloy 'manilla' dating to circa AD 1550 - 1945. Most likely 18th-19th century. 

The 'manilla is horse-shoe shaped in form which tapers at the end to flattened sub oval-shaped terminals. The object has a bronze coloured patina and much of the surface is pitted. There is no decoration on the object or visible casting seam. 

There are a number of 'manilla' recorded on the PAS database with just two further examples recorded under the WMID prefix including (WMID-22DE66) and (WMID-72EE03) both discovered in Staffordshire. 

Manillas are copper alloy penannular rings with elaborate terminals, which are often lozenge shaped. Their size and weight are specified as being standardized at “measuring… 2 ¼ inches across, and weighing 3 ounces” (They are often described as being used as currency rather than as personal ornamentation. While there is evidence of manillas being used in West Africa prior to the advent of the Trans Atlantic slave trade, the majority date from the 18th and 19th centuries. They were mass produced in factories in Bristol and Birmingham from 1690, and the form with lozenge shaped terminals is characteristic of this origin. They were also produced in Warrington from 1767, and Cheadle from 1790 (Herbert 1984, Edwards 2010) and continued to be used until the 20th century. They are closely associated with the Trans-Atlantic slave trade (Bell 1950, Rees 2000), and were used by British traders to deal illicitly in enslaved Africans after abolition, or to profit indirectly from the activities of other European nations, who continued to enslave and transport African people until 1888.

Class: manilla

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Chronology

Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Period to: MODERN
Date from: Circa AD 1550
Date to: Circa AD 1945

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 59.3 mm
Width: 57.4 mm
Thickness: 9.7 mm
Weight: 76.1 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 22nd March 2020 - Sunday 22nd March 2020

Personal details

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Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Warwickshire (County)
District: Stratford-on-Avon (District)
Parish or ward: Studley (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SP0963
Four figure Latitude: 52.2650895
Four figure longitude: -1.86954513
1:25K map: SP0963
1:10K map: SP06SE
Grid reference source: Centred on field
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WMID
Created: About one year ago
Updated: About one year ago

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