ESS-C74BF0: 2009 T219 Post Medieval bell

Rights Holder: Colchester Museums
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Unique ID: ESS-C74BF0

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

TREASURE CASE 2009 T219 British Museum Report: Half of a small incomplete silver bell, hollow, with suspension. The bell would have been hemispherical and made in two parts joined together, pierced at lower half, containing a pip. It has a maker's mark 'MB' which is not recorded in Jackson.


Whereas similar bells were sewn onto clothing as fashionable accessories in the late medieval period, especially in the 15th Century, bells of this kind were, in the 16th Century, used on hawks and falcons; and on collars for dogs and cats; as well as being an element in horse furniture. This is possibly a hawking bell, of the kind attached by means of a bewit to the hawk's legs. A pair of bells were used, making a shrill sound a semitone apart from each other. They were often made in Milan or Dordrecht. Silver, or silver added to the metal, made for a sweet tone, echoed in Shakespeare's "How silver -sweet sound lovers 's tongues by night", see J. Strutt, Sports and Past-times of the People of England, 1801, p. 26. For earlier medieval types excavated in Austria see Konrad Spindler, Falknerei in Archäologie und Geschichte, Tyrol 1998. This example is difficult to date: it might be 15th Century or considerably later, into the 17th Century. As such, due to its age and precious metal content, this object qualifies as Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996. Ref: Jackson, Sir Charles J. English Goldsmith's and Their Marks. London: MacMillan and Co., Ltd. 1921. Dr Dora Thornton Curator of Renaissance Collections

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder after being disclaimed as Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2009T219


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Date from: AD 1400
Date to: AD 1700

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 23rd March 2009

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Laura McLean
Identified by: Laura McLean
Secondary identifier: Ms Dora Thornton

Other reference numbers

Other reference: Treasure case 2009 T219
Treasure case number: 2009T219

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Essex (County)
District: Tendring (District)
To be known as: Tendring District

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From finder
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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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

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

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