NMS-638554: Early Medieval Mount (incomplete)

Rights Holder: Norfolk Museums Service
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Rights Holder: Norfolk County Council
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Unique ID: NMS-638554

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Description: Incomplete early-medieval Carolingian-style silver mount or strap slide, with foliate decoration cast in low relief, partially gilded and inlaid with niello. The mount is sub-rectangular with one complete and two partial original edges surviving and a transverse break which is unworn but not very recent.

The complete end of the plate is slightly thickened and surmounted by three leaf-shaped mouldings, the middle of which forms a trefoil. These rise from a sharp transverse recess, beyond which the sides of the plate are convex and the upper face rises to a transverse arris before thinning again towards the break. On one side of the arris, again springing from the recess and roughly in mirror-image to the leaves at the complete end, is a large pointed trefoil leaf with smaller pointed leaves to either side. Facing these, on the other side of the arris, are two smaller pointed trefoil leaves. The leaves are in most cases formed by thick silver ridges with oblique nicks on the inner edges, which appear to have originally been filled with niello, although much is now missing. Gilding survives on the recessed parts of the design and may either have worn off the higher elements, or partial gilding may have been used to accentuate the design.

On the reverse, two of the surviving original edges (one long edge and the surviving short edge) project downwards beyond the back of the plate forming a lip, with a rectangular-sectioned projection broken flush with the lower edge in the centre of the short edge. This may have been an attachment spike, part of a slide loop or a pierced lug for attachment. The other long edge is virtually flush with the top of the object.

Dimensions: Width 21mm. Surviving length 22mm. Maximum surviving depth 8mm. Scar from missing attachment spike / projection 5 x 2mm. Weight 7.7g.

Discussion: Similar Carolingian-style gilded silver mounts and strap-fittings, many inlaid with niello, have been recorded on the PAS database, including DENO-872273, NMS-ADCA16, FAHG-123AB4, YORYM-EAF943 and SF-E2FFD6. There are also gilded copper alloy examples, e.g. SUSS-0E8FF6 and DENO-184477.

Date: This style of metalwork dates from the mid 9th to the end of the 10th century AD.


Consequently, in terms of age and precious metal content, the object qualifies as Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: County / local importance

Subsequent actions

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

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2013T331


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Ascribed Culture: Carolingian
Date from: Circa AD 850
Date to: Circa AD 1000

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 22 mm
Width: 21 mm
Thickness: 8 mm
Weight: 7.7 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 27th March 2013 - Wednesday 24th April 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: 56967
Other reference: DDMD042013
Treasure case number: 2013T331

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Norfolk (County)
District: South Norfolk (District)
To be known as: Barnham Broom

Spatial coordinates

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

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Acquired by Norwich Castle Museum

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: 3 years ago

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