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Unique ID: SF6488

Object type certainty: Possibly
Workflow status: Published Find published

Cast copper-alloy object which looks like a miniature hammer. It has been made in two pieces, the shaft and a separate head. The head is double-sided, with one element to either side of a central cube. One is a gently flaring conical hammer-head, with a terminal circumferential groove around a slightly oblique hammering face. This emerges from a squarish flaring collar. The other element is a flattish rectangle in section with a flat underside and a downward-sloping upper side which is decorated near the central cube with a transverse groove. This perhaps was intended to represent the claw end of a hammer, but without the central slot. The total length of this element is 23.5 mm and it is at most 6 mm wide. The central cube has a cylindrical hole through the middle, through which the top of the shaft passes. Below the cube is a collar, square with cut-off corners, on which the head sits. Below this, the shaft has nine small facets and flares to 6 mm in diameter before narrowing to a waist on which is a biconical moulding. Below the moulding the shaft is circular in section with an elegant concave flare to 8 mm wide. At the bottom are two circumferential grooves. The underside of the shaft is nicely made; although it would be rather short as a hammer handle, it is not broken. This miniature hammer is too small to be used as such, and there is no evidence of wear on the ends of the head. It is just possible that it was a pipe tamper, with the end of the handle forming the 'business end'; a rather larger hammer-like smoker's tool, with spikes and claws for cleaning the pipe out, is known from an early 17th-century context in Amsterdam (Baart no. 686). On the present example, however, the hammer head seems to be merely decorative. It has a slightly classical feel in its baluster mouldings, so might fit nicely with a 17th- or 18th-century date.


This record was created before the Portable Antiquities Scheme began using the Central Database. We are aware that this record may fall below our usual standards of recording, and we are working to rectify this.


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: AD 1600
Date to: AD 1800

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 41 mm
Width: 23.5 mm
Thickness: 8 mm
Weight: 11.47 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Tuesday 1st May 2001

Personal details

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Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Suffolk (County)
District: Suffolk Coastal (District)

Spatial coordinates

Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SF
Created: 21 years ago
Updated: 11 years ago

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