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Unique ID: SF6712

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Fragment of cast copper-alloy mirror handle, now very corroded, with many tiny holes in the metal. In the centre of the fragment is a transverse oval disc measuring 17 x 18 mm, which is decorated with a groove around its circumference. From the bottom of this disc the handle tapers to a waist and then flares out again into a bifurcation. Each half is circular in section and ends in a fresh break which shows many small holes. From the top of the central disc the handle again tapers to a waist, and then flares again; there is a V-shaped groove here giving the effect of another bifurcation, and the two halves curve out and downwards to breaks. In the fork sits a central roundel, which is sliced into two discs by a vertical slot which originally held the thin metal mirror. Both discs are now incomplete, but on one face the disc retains some blue enamel. Both the enamel and the metal are in a bubbly condition which may imply burning. The alternative is poor casting, but it seems unlikely that a poor casting was accepted for this very nice piece; it should have been rejected before enamelling. The nearest parallel that a quick search through the literature has produced is one from Great Chesterford in Essex, which has a similar roundel sitting in a bifurcation and holding the mirror.


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.

Class: handle


Broad period: IRON AGE
Period from: IRON AGE
Date from: 800 BC
Date to: AD 43

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 40 mm
Width: 25 mm
Thickness: 17 mm
Weight: 22.87 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 1st July 2001

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Helen Geake
Identified by: Dr Helen Geake
Secondary identifier: Dr J.D. Hill

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Fragment
Surface Treatment: Inlaid with enamel

Spatial metadata

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

Spatial coordinates

Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 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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  • Peter Reavill wrote @ 11:59:03 on the 24th March 2011.

    I wonder if this is more likely to be a tankard handle / fitting rather than one for a mirror - it is difficult to tell from a record without images but from the description it seems more likely to be tankard related than those for mirrors. see HESH-B30272 for a discussion and references for this type of tankard and also LIN-96EDE3 for a complete example. If there were images on file I would be happy to review comment further Peter Reavill FLO Salop / Heref

  • Peter Reavill wrote @ 12:00:26 on the 24th March 2011.

    oops: just noticed that JD is the second identifier on this so is probably a mirror fragment - afterall he is likely to know much more than me

Audit data

Recording Institution: SF
Created: 17 years ago
Updated: 7 years ago

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