IOW-5C6967: IOW-5C6967 Medieval Papal Bulla of Pope Martin IV

Rights Holder: Isle of Wight Council
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Unique ID: IOW-5C6967

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

A complete Medieval cast lead papal bulla of Pope Martin IV (1281-1285 AD).
The object is sub-circular in plan. It has small openings at the top and bottom to allow the thread to be inserted into the internal recess. The obverse bears the conventional raised busts of Saints Peter and Paul both within drop-shaped pelleted borders. On the left, St Paul's beard is portrayed as being long, straight and pointed, while his hair is straight and swept back. On the right, Peter looks left with his more rounded hair and beard both formed of pellets. Between the two faces there is a crozier and above are the inscriptions: 'SPA SPE' (abbreviations for St Paul and St Peter). The reverse face has the raised legend: MAR/TINVS/PP.IIII (omega above the 'P's)' in three lines, within a pelleted border: 'PP' = 'Pastor Pastorum', translated as 'shepherd of the shepherds'.
This bulla has a pale with some small areas of corrosion. The lower side is flattened.

Height: 34.62mm; width: 37.78mm; thickness: 6.35mm. Weight: 45.86g.
Pope Martin IV was Pope between 1281 and 1285. It is therefore likely that the bull was created and used between these dates.
The papal bulla is a formal seal of office used by the Popes to stamp and authenticate documents produced by the papal curia. Dr Tim Pestell (Curator of Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery) has commented: "Papal bulls came as two basic types, according to the contents of the document: Tituli, or "Letters of Grace", essentially granted or confirmed rights, conferred benefices or promulgated statutes. They generally had their lead bullae attached with cords of silk. Mandamenta, or "Letters of Justice" were mandates that conveyed papal orders, prohibitions or injunctions, and had their bullae attached by hemp threads.
Justice" were mandates that conveyed papal orders, prohibitions or injunctions, and had their bullae attached by hemp threads".


Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Finder
Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Subperiod to: Early
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Exactly AD 1281
Date to: Exactly AD 1285

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Height: 34.62 mm
Width: 37.78 mm
Thickness: 6.35 mm
Weight: 45.86 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 25th January 2012

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Frank Basford
Identified by: Mr Frank Basford

Other reference numbers

Other reference: IOW2012-1-93

Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Isle of Wight

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Club rally
Current location: Finder
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Operations to a depth greater than 0.25m

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: IOW
Created: 7 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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