LVPL-945FF9: Iron Age fob / dangler

Rights Holder: National Museums Liverpool
CC License:

Image use policy

Our images can be used under a CC BY attribution licence (unless stated otherwise).


Unique ID: LVPL-945FF9

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An incomplete copper alloy 'fob' or 'dangler' dating from the late Iron Age to early Roman period (c 200BC-100AD).

The object is comprised of a sub-triangular frame with extended, curved points. Each side has a narrow end that curves inwards and gradually thickens to the other side, the end of which overlaps the adjoining side and creates the impression that the object is made of three separate sides. The frame is D-shaped in section with a flat reverse. In the centre of the frame is a dome which connects to each of the three sides, and leaves a negative space in each inner corner of the frame. Two sides present a pointed sprue, whereas the third side has a worn break in place of a sprue.

The reverse of the object in flat. In the centre is an incomplete integral attachment lug which is circular in section. Overall the object has a  smooth dark brown patina with patches of light green where the original surface has become corroded.

Dimensions:Length 38.61mm; width 34.74mm; thickness 5.07mm; weight 19.11g

A similarly formed fob dangler is recorded under LVPL-78F55A and comments that:
"Triangular fob/danglers are unusual and this is the only recorded example on the PAS database within a triangular border. No exact parallel is known (at the time of writing). The object fits into the general openwork-triskele type (Palk Type IIID), but normally these are set in a circular or triple-armed arrangement. Julia Farley, Curator of European Iron Age Collections Department at the British Museum notes: The most triangular one I am aware of is from Cirencester (published as no. 525 in Palk), but that is really more similar to ones like NARC-7584E7 or GLO-00B794, where the three arms of the triskele form the sides of the triangle, rather than the whole design being set into a triangular border.

Another triangular fob without a frame is from from Owmby, Lincs (Jope 2000, pl. 225, n) and one from Croft Ambrey, Herts (ibid, Pl 225, e). LEIC-A06F61, and WILT-A40537, are more worn examples with sub-triangular frames.

Fobs or danglers remain a poorly understood artefact type, and may have been hung from items of equipment, personal apparel or harness decoration (Jope 2000, pp 285) . Jope (ibid.) records 17 known examples of danglers and related 'hangers' from Britain, while Macgregor (1976a, pp 37) records nine know examples of Triskele-decorated fobs from Northern Britain. One recorded example (Macgregor, 1976b, pp 40) can be seen as a parallel for this piece but is without the pelta motifs and has a simple openwork triskele design, enhanced by a border of punched dots. Two examples of fobs have been recovered from excavations in Wales: a fragmentary example recovered from the hill fort of Tre'r Ceiri at Llanaelhaearn, Gwynedd and from Abergavenny, Monmouthshire (Spratling, 1968) . A similar example with a triskele but again, without the peltae was recorded from St. Nicholas in the Vale of Glamorgan . Four examples were recovered from Kingsholm in Gloucestershire (Jope 2000, pp 285, No 225a-d)1. One of the Kingsholm examples was still attached to binding, appearing to be from the corner of a casket (ibid.)."

Since LVPL-78F55A was recorded, a few more triangular fob/danglers have been reported to the PAS including: NMGW-C7F1CB from Bridgend, Wales; and NMS-7C3E91 from Norfolk.

Jope E.M. (2000), Early Celtic Art in the British Isles, in Volume I, Text
Macgregor M. (1976) Early Celtic Art in North Britain, Volume 2
Macgregor M. (1976) Early Celtic Art in North Britain, Volume 1
Spratling, M.G. (1968) A Bronze Loop-Shanked Triskele Pendant from Flannel Street; in Excavations at Abergavenny 1962-1969; I. Prehistoric and Roman Finds; The Monmouthshire Antiquary 1968-1969, p. 196-198
NMWPA 2006.39.1

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: Regional importance

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: IRON AGE
Period from: IRON AGE
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: Circa 200 BC
Date to: Circa AD 100

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 38.61 mm
Width: 34.74 mm
Thickness: 5.07 mm
Weight: 19.11 g

Personal details

This information is restricted for your access level.

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: North West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
District: Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Marbury

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

Similar objects

Find number: LVPL-78F55A
Object type: FOB
Broadperiod: IRON AGE
A cast copper alloy 'fob' or 'dangler' dating from the late Iron Age to early Roman period, (c 200BC-100AD). The fob is pyramidal in form …
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: LVPL-DDC778
Object type: FOB
Broadperiod: IRON AGE
A cast copper alloy 'fob' or 'dangler' dating from the late Iron Age to early Roman period, (c 200BC-100AD). The fob is circular in plan a…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: GLO-00B794
Object type: FOB
Broadperiod: IRON AGE
A copper-alloy fob, probably dating to the first century AD, although the date range of such objects is a subject of some debate. The fob is …
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LVPL
Created: 8 months ago
Updated: 7 months ago

Other formats: this page is available as qrcode json xml geojson pdf rdf representations.