PAS-141C31: Treasure case 2002 T224

Rights Holder: The British Museum
CC License:

Rights Holder: The British Museum
CC License:

Image use policy

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


Unique ID: PAS-141C31

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Gold hemisphere set on a back plate and edged with beaded gold wire, diameter 14.5mm, ht. 10.4mm; total weight with detached loop 3.54g. The sides of the dome are divided by beaded wire into four fields below two rings of beaded wire framing a tall plain collar on the top. The collar holds a damaged piece of dark blue glass. Each of the side panels carries a curl of beaded wire, some ending in triple gold granules and granules are tucked into the corners of the design. A small hole near the base shows a void, indicating this is not solid gold but has or had an inert core such as sulphur. The back plate is slightly dished and has the ends of a plain gold loop soldered to it. The loop this is still present but bent and broken off. The place of attachment on the back plate is decorated by a loop of beaded wire. The workmanship is competent but not of the highest quality with ends of unbeaded wire in use, irregular use of granules and a gap in a collar filled by a granule.

This is consistent with Anglo-Saxon work but the conservatism of working in gold filigree and granulation on such a small scale makes it hard to date with any certainty. There is considerable evidence for gold-working from the Alfredian period onwards, late 9th to 10th century but no use is made here of the clips and serrated-filigree bands which would confirm such a date. Although this item is on a small scale serrated bands were used on a finger ring of the 10th century (Backhouse, Turner and Webster 1984, no 90). On purely stylistic grounds, namely the elaborately constructed collared setting and the use of the small berry bunches I think this could be work from the second half of the 8th century or early 9th. Good parallels for the berried scrolls are seen in repoussé work in gilt copper on the Hoddom sheets and the side of the Bischofshoven (Rupertus) cross, all of which are dated to this period (Webster and Backhouse 1991, 135, 133). An elaborate gold finger ring, 'the Joan Evans' ring now in the Ashmolean Museum, while much more ambitious in its filigree ornament has comparable fields with triple-berried bunches, and filigree is used on the back. This is dated to the late 8th or early 9th century (Hinton 1974, no. 38). While it is tempting to call this a button, it is a delicate and valuable ornament and was probably used to enrich an article of clothing: there are descriptions of cloaks and other garments in the early middle ages decorated with precious attachments.

Class: button

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Luton Museum acquired
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Middle
Subperiod to: Middle
Date from: Circa AD 750
Date to: Circa AD 850

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Height: 10.4 mm
Weight: 3.54 g
Diameter: 14.5 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 1st September 2002

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Caroline Barton
Identified by: Mrs Susan Youngs

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Secondary material: Glass
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Luton (Unitary Authority)
District: Luton (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Luton

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Gardening
Current location: Luton Museum acquired
General landuse: Other
Specific landuse: Garden

References cited

Similar objects

Find number: ESS-FA05C2
Object type: FINGER RING
Small gold finger-ring with circular bezel c. 14mm in diameter, neatly curved to fit around the finger and decorated with very worn filigree …
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: SF-3ABEB9
Object type: AESTEL
A complete gold object comprising a hollow dome with a projecting socket and separately-soldered back-plate. The dome is decorated all ove…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: PAS-D6EBE3
Object type: FINGER RING
Gold finger ring with large oval bezel plate made from a hoop of circular section which has a lapped joint at the back. The large plate carri…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: PAS
Created: 8 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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