ESS-2B2E50: Early Medieval Silver Mount

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

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Unique ID: ESS-2B2E50

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Description: Silver rectangular mount, recently broken into two parts across the middle just to one side of the centre. It has symmetrical relief decoration embellished with niello inlay and traces of gilding. Both short ends are raised into D-section mouldings, and the decoration on these are more worn than on the rest of the mount. The mouldings have on them central relief leaf shapes, with rounded top towards the centre and trapezoidal base at the edge of the mount. These are flanked by further, lower shapes with more curvy outlines, again perhaps intended as leaves; at each corner is a simple ridge running transversely across the moulding. The centre of the mount is lower, and in the very middle is a longitudinal ridge which does not reach the mouldings at the short edges. This ridge has a fine central line of niello which is interrupted in the centre by a tiny undecorated (or worn smooth) boss. There is a leaf shape to either side of this, in the centre of each long edge, with two lobes each with niello-inlaid veins. To either side of this is a wavy-edged leaf with a sunken centre. Matt brown corrosion, possibly rust, obscures the lower parts of the decoration but gilding is occasionally just visible here, particularly along the break.

The mount is hollowed on the reverse and there is no obvious means of attachment. From the reverse, one short edge appears to have sharper corners and the other more rounded corners, but this is not readily apparent from the front.

Dimensions: Length 30.2mm, width 22.0, maximum thickness 6.0mm. Weight of larger fragment 6.7g, weight of smaller fragment 4.5g, total weight 11.2g.

Discussion: This mount fits readily into a group of similar Carolingian-style rectangular mounts made from gilded silver and with nielloed decoration. Examples on the PAS database include NMS-638554, NMS-ADCA16, FAHG-123AB4, YORYM-EAF943, SF-E2FFD6. There are also gilded copper alloy examples known, e.g. SUSS-0E8FF6 and DENO-184477. They all date from the mid 9th to the end of the 10th century AD.


As this 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

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder after being disclaimed as Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2013T605


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: 30.2 mm
Width: 22 mm
Thickness: 6 mm
Weight: 11.2 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 15th September 2013

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Katie Marsden
Identified by: Miss Katie Marsden
Secondary identifier: Dr Helen Geake

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2013T605

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Secondary material: Gold
Completeness: Complete
Surface Treatment: Inlaid with niello

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Essex (County)
District: Colchester (District)
To be known as: Boxted Area

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Recorded at a rally
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 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: ESS
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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