SUR-029B13: Early medieval: Scabbard fitting

Rights Holder: Surrey County Council
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Unique ID: SUR-029B13

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

A large fragment of a 5th century copper alloy scabbard mount with silver inlay, decorated in the Quoit Brooch Style. The inner face of the mount suggests a high tin content.

Just over half the mount survives and is curved to fit the mouth of the scabbard. The main decorative element is a band 15.42mm wide which originally contained five roundels. The second roundel from the left, and probably the missing fifth, have been inlaid with a silver foil. Roundel 1 has a simple central pit; roundel 2 is decorated with an 8-petalled rosette; and roundel 3 has a cross with running spiral terminals, each with a projecting hook. Above this strip the upper edge of the mount is shaped to correspond with the upper edge of what were originally a pair of crouching and facing openwork beasts. The left beast survives along with the front paw of the right. The surviving beast is also inlaid with silver foil and is infilled with arcing and spiral forms. Between the two beasts was probably a single roundel of which part survives.

On the edge of the mount, below the original central roundel, are two stubs of a projecting attachment loop. There appears also to have been a projecting loop extending from the left edge of the object, although the lower left hand corner of the mount is original. A circular attachment hole penetrates roundel 2 and a hole also penetrated the roundel between the two beasts.

On the back of the mount is a separate fitting of uncertain extent which appears to have been soldered in place. The upper part of this fitting is shaped to form a pierced loop which almost corresponds with the aperture through the roundel between the two beasts.

Barry Ager kindly comments:

I've made a quick roundup of comparable Quoit Brooch Style objects, with the crouching animals on the Mucking 117 belt set at the top of the list of course. Very similar animals occur also on the Fallward belt-ends, proving again the continental provincial Roman 'military' and not British origins of the style, and in the borders of the recently discovered, rectangular hooked plate from the cemetery of St.-Marcel, France (where a few other QBS objects have been found, too; my note about them is in: "A note on the objects decorated in the Quoit Brooch Style from the burials at Saint-Marcel", pp. 240-242 in F. Le Boulanger and L. Simon, 'De la ferme antique à la nécropole de l'Antiquité tardive (milieu du IIe s. - fin du Ve s. apr. J.-C. Étude archéologique du site de Saint-Marcel «le Bourg» (Morbihan)', Gallia, 69.1 (2012), 167-307). These new finds show that the distribution of QBS objects must be extended to northern France, reflecting the well-known Anglo-Saxon presence in the region, as I have pointed out in the past with particular regard to the quoit brooch from Bénouville and tubular mount from Réville amongst other related objects.

The 8-petalled rosette in the roundel can be paralleled by the strap-end from Corhampton & Meonstoke (PAS HAMP1966) and by the roundels on the Orpington buckle-plate and Pewsey strap-end, with only 7 'petals' (S. Suzuki, The Quoit Brooch Style and Anglo-Saxon Settlement (Boydell, 2000), pl. 8, fig. 8; fig. 19).

What appears to be a couple of broken lugs on the bottom edge of the piece probably represent an original small loop, as on some of the mainly late 5th/early 6th-century mouthpieces of the scabbards of Menghin's Kempston/Mitcham type, such as Gilton and Dover 96b (W. Menghin, 1983, Das Schwert im Frühen Mittelalter. Chronologisch-typologische Untersuchungen zu Langschwertern aus germanischen Gräbern des 5. bis 7. Jahrhunderts n. Chr., Stuttgart, p. 337).

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: Include in MedArch

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 425
Date to: Circa AD 475

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 50.25 mm
Width: 30.37 mm
Thickness: 3.47 mm
Weight: 16.83 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 1st May 2013 - Friday 31st May 2013

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr David W Williams
Identified by: Mr David W Williams

Other reference numbers

Other reference: 13-798

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Silver
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Hampshire (County)
District: Winchester (District)
Parish or ward: Cheriton (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SU5728
Four figure Latitude: 51.048529
Four figure longitude: -1.188228
1:25K map: SU5728
1:10K map: SU52NE
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SUR
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 5 years ago

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