LEIC-9158C3: Early Medieval copper alloy sword pommel

Rights Holder:
CC License:

Rights Holder:
CC License:

Rights Holder: Leicestershire County Council
CC License:

Image use policy

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


Unique ID: LEIC-9158C3

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Early Medieval (Anglo-Scandinavian) copper alloy sword pommel, 58mm long, 43mm wode and 11mm thick. The object is in poor condition with a brown/green patina and weighs 66.02grams. The object is sub triangular in form and rectangular in section. Its upper surface has a centrally placed rectangular hole to accomodate the tang, which is flanked on its two edges with slight ridges. Each side of the object is slightly curved and has two crescent shaped holes, which are of differing sizes and may be signs of damage. Enclosing these holes is a faint Ringerike style ribbon decoration which curves around them and continues up and over the top of the pommel, the decoration forming the ridges flanking the topmost tang hole (see illustration). On the other side the decoration contunies, presumably as a mirror to the first side, but is masked by corrosion. The base of the pommel is decorated with two incised lines, echoing the ribbon decoration, which are aligned along the objects curved base. The underside is plain and has a further, wider rectangular tang hole.


The base is slightly curved, and has a pair of engraved lines which hint at the development of this sword pommel from a type with a separate guard. The base is solid, with a large central hole to accommodate the tang. The sides are more steeply curving, with a slight break in slope part of the way up which may reflect the pommel's development from a more lobate form.

The pommel is probably a late development of Petersen's (1919: figs. 124-129) type X, transitional to medieval forms. Copper-alloy pommels with this basic shape are rare but not unknown in Viking Age Europe; there is a reasonably close example from Lough Derg, County Tipperary (in the National Museum of Ireland; Peirce 2002: 140-141) and another from Chetwynd Aston and Woodcote, Shropshire, recorded on the PAS database (HESH-920B71). Although neither of these pommels have complex decoration, the symmetrical Ringerike-style engraving is very like that commonly found on stirrup-strap mounts of the 11th century (Williams 1997: 26-34). Petersen's type X is normally dated to the 10th to 11th centuries, and the decoration dates this particular example to the 11th century.

Kevin Leahy.

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Class: pommel
Sub class: Peterson Type X variant

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Donated to a museum


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Ascribed Culture: Anglo-Scandinavian
Date from: AD 950
Date to: AD 1050

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 58 mm
Width: 43 mm
Thickness: 11 mm
Weight: 66.02 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Thursday 5th March 2009

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Wendy Scott
Identified by: Wendy Scott

Other reference numbers

Museum accession number: X.A46.2010

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: East Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Leicestershire (County)
District: North West Leicestershire (District)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SK4114
Four figure Latitude: 52.7221031
Four figure longitude: -1.39440949
1:25K map: SK4114
1:10K map: SK41SW
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

Similar objects

Find number: NMS-CFA5A1
Object type: SWORD
Late Saxon (Anglo-Scandinavian) copper alloy sword pommel, 48mm long, 61mm wide and 17mm thick. Very corroded. Weighs 64.45g. Hollow-cast ope…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: LIN-9468E7
Object type: SWORD
A copper-alloy sword pommel of 11th century date. The pommel is sub-triangular in plan with a curved base. The sides are steeply curving with…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: DENO-D7D52E
Object type: SWORD
A copper alloy pommel from either a sword or a seax of early medieval date. The object is of late lobed form, probably of 10th or 11th centur…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LEIC
Created: 9 years ago
Updated: 6 years ago

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