WMID-91D8C1: Post Medieval: Complete figurative knife handle

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
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Unique ID: WMID-91D8C1

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

A complete copper alloy anthropomorphic (human like) whittle tang knife handle, of Post Medieval dating (17th Century AD).

The knife handle is irregular in plan, and sub rectangular in section. The blade is missing, part of the iron tang is still present inside the knife handle.

The knife handle has been moulded in the form of a tonsured male figure, probably a monk, wearing a monastic habit. His arms are held at his waist.

It measures 66.55 mm in length, 18.83 mm wide and 11.36 mm thick. It weighs 25.5 g.

The handle is a dark brown to green colour, with an uneven surface patina. Abrasion, caused by movement whilst within the plough soil, has resulted in a loss of some of the original surface detail. A small vertical crack in the copper alloy metal is present on the back of the handle.

Anthropomorphical (figurative) knife handles such as this one typically are of 17th Century AD dating. Some are considered to be Dutch in origin. Several different varieties have been recorded on the PAS database to date. These consist of musicians (NARC-D89036, SUR-742887) a musketeer (DEV-B7C066, BUC-7063B4); Jonah and the Whale (ESS-C12B55, BH-8D8C03; LIN-F16D33) a female figure (HAMP-2AE5A6, LVPL-6EB2D4, SF-1BFBD4, BUC-2CF144), an embracing male and female couple (LON-6348E4, NMS-9031F7, LIN-BE7540, NMS-CCFA72).

Find of note status

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

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1600
Date to: Circa AD 1700

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 66.55 mm
Width: 18.83 mm
Thickness: 11.36 mm
Weight: 25.5 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 1st April 2013 - Tuesday 30th April 2013

Personal details

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Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Iron
Decoration style: Figurative
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Warwickshire (County)
District: Warwick (District)
To be known as: Warwick

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Found whilst metal detecting
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WMID
Created: 8 years ago
Updated: 4 years ago

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