NMS-ADCA16: Middle or Late Saxon mount.

Rights Holder: Norfolk County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Norfolk County Council
CC License:

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Unique ID: NMS-ADCA16

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Description: Rectangular Carolingian-style silver mount, partly gilded and inlaid with niello, and decorated with Carolingian-style plant ornament. The front of the mount, which has high, curved sides, is decorated in relief, the higher-relief sections of the design inlaid with niello and the lower-relief sections gilded. The selective gilding appears to be deliberate, rather than the result of wear on the higher relief elements of the design.

The design is centred around an X-shaped cross in high relief, with the arms curving inwards to form two back-to-back C shapes (when the mount is viewed with the long edges horizontal) or point-to-point heart shapes (when the mount is viewed with the short edges horizontal). The cross is inlaid with a complex niello pattern consisting of central longitudinal lines, arrows towards the centre and transverse lines dividing the arms from their bifurcated foliate terminals.

In the centre of each long edge is a lozengiform or oval high-relief moulding, probably intended as leaf-shaped, with tri-lobed niello inlay, surrounded by a gilded, lower-relief, triangular veined leaf with scalloped edges, which fills the internal angles of the central cross.

In the centre of each short edge is a high-relief moulding consisting of two similar leaf shapes, each with a trilobed inlay, in mirror-image and separated from each other by a central band inlaid with two transverse lines of niello. These are again surrounded by a gilded, lower-relief, triangular veined leaf with scalloped edges, which fills the internal angles of the central cross.

The lower leaf-shaped motifs extend to the edges of each side. On the short edges, they are flanked by veined, opposed leaves without gilding and perhaps originally with niello in the veining. On the long edges, they are flanked by smooth, perhaps worn quarter-circle bosses, each with an inlaid strip of niello on the upper edge.

The reverse is deeply recessed, with an off-centre sub-circular blind hole, probably a casting flaw. The rim around the hollowed reverse has two integral, rectangular-sectioned attachment spikes projecting from the short edges. Both spikes taper very slightly to breaks and are now slightly bent. The breaks at either end of the spikes are not very recent, but are not very worn and are slightly granular in the centre.

Dimensions: length 25mm, width 19mm, thickness (excluding attachment spikes) 6.5mm. Maximum surviving length of attachment spike 9.5mm. Weight 12.1g.

Discussion and Date: Similar mounts and strap-ends with the same style of decoration are recorded on the PAS database from Suffolk (SF-E2FFD6 and ESS-BE9A25), North Yorkshire (YORYM-EAF943), unprovenanced (FAHG-123AB4) and Norfolk (NMS-5BAC02). They all date from the mid 9th to the end of the 10th century AD.

Field L4


As the object is made of more than 10% precious metal and is over 300 years old, it constitutes potential Treasure under the Treasure Act 1996.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Norfolk Museums Service
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2013T195


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Subperiod to: Late
Ascribed Culture: Carolingian
Date from: Circa AD 851
Date to: Circa AD 1000

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 25 mm
Width: 19 mm
Weight: 12.1 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 3rd March 2013 - Sunday 3rd March 2013

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mrs Erica Darch
Identified by: Mrs Erica Darch
Secondary identifier: Dr Helen Geake

Other reference numbers

SMR reference number: 58413
Other reference: ET032013
Treasure case number: 2013T195

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Inlaid with niello

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Norfolk (County)
District: Breckland (District)
Parish or ward: Roudham and Larling (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TL9789
Four figure Latitude: 52.463394
Four figure longitude: 0.898445
1:25K map: TL9789
1:10K map: TL98NE
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Norfolk Museums Service

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NMS
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 6 months ago

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