WMID-895C97: Early Medieval hooked tag (front and back views)

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
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Unique ID: WMID-895C97

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

An incomplete cast copper alloy hooked tag, dating to the Early Medieval period during the 9th/ 10th century AD (length: 24mm; width: 16mm; thickness: 0.8mm; weight: 1.9g).

The hooked tag is sub-triangular in plan and flat in section. The top of the artefact is shaped into three curved lobes , with the smaller central lobe in the centre of the hooked tag. There appear to be irregular small incised markings along the outside edge of these lobes with an approximate length of 2.5mm. There are two rivet holes to the left and right of the top of the artefact (diameter of rivet holes: 2mm), although both probable copper alloy rivets are now missing. The front of the hooked tag is decorated with ridged and incised markings representing a beast’s head in the Trewhiddle art style. Firstly, there is an incised central line running down the length of the artefact with a slightly raised linear border to either side. The eyes of the beast are depicted as two ‘()’ raised borders as well as a sub-oval shaped eye within each border. Additionally, there are slightly raised curved features to the left and right near the bottom of the decorated front of the artefact. The hook that would have originally extended outwards from the decorated face is now completely missing. The back of the artefact is undecorated and, overall, the hooked tag is in a slightly worn but fair condition with a dark green patina.

Similar examples are illustrated in MacGregor, A & Bolick, E, 1993, ‘A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals)’ in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, page 190, ref nos 32.1-32.5. MacGregor & Bolick state that these artefacts ‘performed a range of functions in fastening clothing, headgear, or indeed bags and purses. A funerary role as shroud-hooks is also possible for some examples’.

A strap end with similar decoration is also illustrated in Hinton, D, A, 1974, 'Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Ornamental Metalwork 700 - 1100 in the Department of Antiquities, Ashmolean Museum', pages 12-13 & plate V, ref no 5, which was probably found in the Burford area, Oxfordshire and is dated to the 9th century AD.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Date from: Post AD 800
Date to: Ante AD 1000

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 24 mm
Width: 16 mm
Thickness: 0.8 mm
Weight: 1.9 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 6th September 2006

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Caroline Johnson
Identified by: Ms Caroline Johnson

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

County or Unitary authority: City of Stoke-on-Trent (Unitary Authority)
District: City of Stoke-on-Trent (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Hanford and Trentham (Unitary Authority Ward)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SJ8742
Four figure Latitude: 52.9751906
Four figure longitude: -2.19504207
1:25K map: SJ8742
1:10K map: SJ84SE
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WMID
Created: 11 years ago
Updated: 7 years ago

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