YORYM-5C08E5: Late early-medieval to medieval mount

Rights Holder: York Museums Trust
CC License:

Image use policy

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


Unique ID: YORYM-5C08E5

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

An incomplete late early-medieval to medieval copper-alloy mount, which features a raised human face. The mount has a concave reverse and a high relief, moulded front. The face has pointed-oval eyes, rounded cheeks, a long, slender triangular nose and a beard, formed from grooves that are engraved diagonally. A moustache featutes lateral protrusions at each side. The hair is openwork and formed of entwined linear elements, but only a portion of it survives to one side. Five rivet holes are present: one on each lateral protruding part of the moustache, one at the tip of the beard, and one to each side around eye level. The last two have been abraded through. The metal is a mid reddish-green colour and it is pitted. The piece measures 43.9mm by 31.7mm, and is up to 6.9mm high. It weighs 14.1g.

The object finds a direct parallel in a complete mount printed in The Searcher magazine for March 2005 on p. 21. The two are similar down to the piercings in the hair, and are of similar module: the one in the magazine is given as 45mm by 31mm, and up to 6.5mm at its highest/thickest. Unfortunately, the only findspot given is North Yorkshire.

The function of the mount is uncertain, although useful suggestions are made in the record for a mount of the same sort from the Isle of Wight (IOW-4FA904 on this database). The comparison with stirrup-strap mounts of Williams (1997) Class A, Type 9 is worth reiterating, especially variants of the form, for example HAMP-B7C312 on this database. Similar mounts are few and far between, and good locational data less so unfortunately: a few examples have been gathered: http://travellingnorth.nl/Viking-artefacts/Viking-mount-Urnes-Style-man-with-moustache-and-beard-in-bronze.html. Other than the Isle of Wight example, a focus in Yorkshire would seem to be the current trend. Due to its rarity this object has been marked as a find of national importance.

The similarity of such mounts to stirrup-strap mounts suggests that they were contemporary, that is dating from the 11th century. That the knotwork on the hair approaches the Late Viking Urnes style suggests a date in the second half of that century, if not slightly later.

Find of note status

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

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Subperiod to: Late
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1050
Date to: Circa AD 1150

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 43.9 mm
Width: 31.7 mm
Thickness: 6.9 mm
Weight: 14.1 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 1st September 2008

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mrs Liz Andrews-Wilson
Identified by: Mr Robert Webley

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
District: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Brantingham

Spatial coordinates

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
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

Similar objects

Find number: IOW-A593BD
Object type: MOUNT
A complete Late Early-Medieval (Anglo-Scandinavian) anthropomorphic mount in the form of a human male mask facing forwards (c. 1000 - c. 1100)…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: SWYOR-EF9E81
Object type: WEIGHT
A lead-alloy weight set with a silver pendant. Description: The weight consists of a drop-shaped piece of tin-lead alloy, flattened at the…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: NMS559
Object type: MOUNT
Early Anglo-Saxon cast copper-alloy mount in the form of a bearded and moustached bust surmounted with horns. On the flat reverse are three i…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: YORYM
Created: 10 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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