WAW-3168EE: Early Medieval Irish Mount (x4 profiles, plan and reverse).

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

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Unique ID: WAW-3168EE

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

Early Medieval (8thto 9thcentury) pyramidal mount: The mount is a pyramid with a truncated top and a square base. The outer surfaces are decorated, whereas the underside is hollow and undecorated. The mount has been cast from a leaded bronze.The Conservation Dept. at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery kindly XRF'd the mount proving it to be a leaded bronze:14%Sn and 2%Pb.

The truncated top has a raised flat topped ridge around the edge and has four rivets, one in each corner each of which has been hammered to form a flattened rivet head. In the centre of the top, there is a sub-oval perforation which appears to be either intentional or it occurred when the mount was removed or fell off from the original object rather than being due to corrosion.

Each side face of the mount has a linear border which is decorated with fine obliquely angled notches. Each side face has then been designed so that there are five panels. The central panel is a lozenge, has a recessed decorated face and a border which is decorated with fine obliquely angled notches. This border extends from the central two corners of the lozenge to the outer edges of the side face, thereby dividing the field around the lozenge into four panels. The decoration within each lozenge, on each of the four sides, is almost identical, consisting of a central pellet surrounded by three concentric relief lozenge shapes, each one turned at 45 degrees to the next to produce a simple interlace effect. The decoration on the remaining panels are similar, with the upper two panels on each face having a more curvilinear, fine interlace, whereas the decoration in the lower panels is slightly more angular.

The edge of the mount, at the base, has raised flat topped ridge which has been decorated with a simple, reoccurring egg and dart motif, which is in relief. In each corner of the mount, at the edge there is a circular cell, two of which, have circular rivet holes. The other two cells appear not to have had a rivet hole at all.

On the outer surface there are traces of gilding and small patches of red copper corrosion. Over the surface there is active corrosion which is causing a bubbled/blistered effect. On the outer face this bronze disease is not powdery or active.

The reverse of the mount, at the truncated top has a transverse groove and appears to show a double layer of copper alloy, which is not visible anywhere else across the mount. This groove and the perforation is probably a form of fixture for a setting or mount which covered the truncated top. On the reverse of the base, there are three square indentions with a central rivet hole, each on a different face. Two of the indentations are near the corners, and the third is off-centre of one edge. Two of these indentations have rounded headed rivets in place, with the heads being visible on the outer surface.

The reverse of the mount has a slightly mottled brown/green patina, and two fresh grooves across the base which is recent damage. There is also active corrosion on this face with some more active powdery, active corrosion.

The mount measures 72.54mm long, 73.44mm wide, 23.36mm thick and weighs 184.8g.

The mount is similar to altar cross mounts from Ireland, such as the Tully Lough Cross (National Museum of Ireland).which has a central pyramidal mount. The decoration is also similar, particularly at the base and corners. The mount is similar to the shrine boss from Essex, the Steeple Bumpstead boss, in the British Museum collections (M&ME 1916,7-5,1). The Tully Lough Cross and the shrine boss date to the 8thor 9thcentury, and the recorded mount is probably of a similar date.


The x-rays and XRF results are curtesy of the Conservation Dept. at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Helen Geake and Kevin Leahy have both kindly commented on the object and how it should best be recorded.

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
Subperiod from: Middle
Subperiod to: Late
Ascribed Culture: Irish
Date from: Circa AD 700
Date to: Circa AD 900

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 72.54 mm
Width: 73.44 mm
Thickness: 23.36 mm
Weight: 184.8 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 1st September 2014 - Friday 19th December 2014

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Angie Bolton
Identified by: Ms Angie Bolton
Secondary identifier: Dr Helen Geake

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Warwickshire (County)
District: Stratford-on-Avon (District)
To be known as: Hampton Lucy area

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WAW
Created: 3 years ago
Updated: 3 years ago

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