SOM-7CD507: Post-medieval bracelet

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
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Unique ID: SOM-7CD507

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

A damaged silver-plated copper-alloy bracelet of late post-medieval date (c. 19th century AD). The bracelet is broadly C-shaped in plan, with a rectangular central portion flanked on each side by an expanded lobe. The front and sides are cast in one, the sides flat and the front convex. A separate plate follows the curved line of the sides and was attached to the edges of the front giving a hollow front. The sides each terminate in a domed mammiform boss with central pellet; these flank the outer surface of the front. Each of the bosses is decorated with narrow depressions around it, one at each cardinal point with two further between each of these, radiating around the pellet. At the base of each boss are inverted semicircular punches all around. Beyond each boss the sides of the bracelet terminate in a groove at the front; beyond the boss each side has a ridged edge. Each side is decorated with an elongated teardrop shaped moulding which travels from the boss, widening as it travels. It is convex with a corresponding cavity on the internal surface. The mouldings are plain and bordered by a ridge. Between this moulding at the edge, flanking the moulding's sides and rounded end, are nine discs moulded in low relief. Each disc is moulded such that it appears to be formed on concentric wire circles around a central pellet; this may be in imitation of filigree. There are further applied pellets between each disc at the outer edge, with the odd pellet also on the inner edge between discs. The outer surface of the front of the brooch is decorated with a moulded oval cartouche with points at its long ends and triangular projections with S-shaped depression at each corner; there is a pellet where the projections meet the cartouche. Within the cartouche is a floral moulding which has longitudinal symmetry. It consists broadly of a central elongated lozenge with central pellet above and below which a three petalled flower. The wide ends of the lozenge continue upwards in the upper register. There is a lis in the gap thus formed in the upper register and a lis with leaves lateral in the lower register. Internally the plate across the ends of the sides has been lost at both ends revealing the cavity mentioned above. Centrally there seems to be a further, separate plate covered in scratches that does not appear intelligible as lettering; it is likely that this piece was etched prior to its application.

The bracelet has suffered some post-depositional damage.. One of the sides has been broken slightly and bent upwards and inwards. Part of the front has also received a strike and has been squashed inwards. The internal plate adjacent has been bent outwards somewhat and abraded. The white metal plating is quite thick with copper corrosion product only showing through in select places.

This type of bracelet is southeastern European in origin and seems to be anachronistic, based on pieces dating from the medieval period. It is described as wedding/costume jewellery and has associations with fertility. This example has been seen by British Museum curators who thought it to be relatively recent.

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
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1800
Date to: Circa AD 1900

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 66.5 mm
Height: 56.5 mm
Width: 29.5 mm
Thickness: 14.3 mm
Weight: 60.12 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 7th July 2013

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Robert Webley
Identified by: Mr Robert Webley
Secondary identifier: Ms Dora Thornton

Other reference numbers

Other reference: SCC receipt 22371

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Complete
Surface Treatment: White metal coated

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Somerset (County)
District: South Somerset (District)
To be known as: Somerton CP

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Grassland, Heathland

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

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

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