SF5096: sf5096.jpg

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: SF5096

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Decorated plaque with no means of attachment surviving. The object is heavy and dark grey in colour, and may be made from a lead/copper or lead-tin alloy. It is basically flat and sub-rectangular, with all the edges and corners rounded and looking as if a die had been pressed into a blob of soft ?melted metal. The relief decoration is on one face only, and consists of a naked copulating couple standing under a tree to the right as you look at it. One of the woman's legs is raised and held by the man around his waist. A rather lumpy raised border to the top of the plaque may be the branches of the tree. To the left of the figures is a straight narrow border ridge but there is no border to the right and the edge of the plaque follows the curved shape of the tree trunk. At the bottom is a short projection with a moulded collar, which has a rounded and apparently unbroken end. On the flat reverse are two engraved letters reading 'LI', the L neatly engraved with triangular serifs but the I apparently unfinished. What this plaque may have been used for is a mystery, and its date is also uncertain. The drawing of the figures is rather good but the manufacture of the plaque itself is poor. Jude Plouviez has suggested that a mould could have been made from a Roman original (this type of standing copulating scene, usually with a skirted woman, is known from the Roman world) but we both agree that the plaque itself is probably 19th century when some quite odd pornographic items such as pipe-tampers were produced. The lettering does not help in assigning a date as this style of lettering was used throughout the post-medieval period. We have scanned both faces of the object because it is so odd.


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: AD 1700
Date to: AD 1900

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 50 mm
Width: 29 mm
Weight: 54.2 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Thursday 1st February 2001

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Helen Geake
Identified by: Dr Helen Geake

Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead Alloy

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Suffolk (County)
District: Ipswich (District)
To be known as: SUFFOLK IPSWICH

Spatial coordinates

Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Other chance find
Discovery circumstances: Found while bait-digging on the foreshore
General landuse: Coastland
Specific landuse: Inter-tidal

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SF
Created: 18 years ago
Updated: 4 years ago

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