LVPL-C7CD93: Post-Medieval toothpick

Rights Holder: National Museums Liverpool
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Unique ID: LVPL-C7CD93

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

Treasure Case: 2015 T597.

Silver toothpick/earscoop with sickle-shaped pick, bent out of shape, with flattened sides. The incomplete pick emerges from the body of a stylised dragon, shaped so as to serve as a handle. Midway along the upper side of the dragon's body is an incomplete suspension loop. The dragon's body is marked with scales. From the dragon's open mouth, as if it were the dragon's tongue, emerges a strip of silver which terminates with a recent break and would have had an earscoop at the end when complete.


The collections of the Museum of London record 6 forms of medieval types. The sickle shape suggests a 16th Century date; an example in gold, from the tomb of the Count Palatine Philip Ludwig (died 1614) is now in the VAM, for which see Geoff Egan and Frances Pritchard, Dress Accessories, Medieval Finds from excavations in London 3, London 1991, pp.378-380. The toothpick pendant became a fashionable accessory in Northern Europe by 1562, when engraved designs were published by the goldsmith, Erasmus Hornick: a late 16th Century enamelled gold toothpick with a baroque pearl "body" is in The Waddesdon Bequest in The British Museum: Hugh Tait, Catalogue of the Waddesdon Beqyest in the British Museum, The Jewels, London 1986, pp.167-170, no.31.

Similar examples which can be found on the PAS database include 2004 T190, (YORYM-5874B1) and 2004 T238, (DENO-E6E8D8). In terms of age and as the object comprises a minimum of 10% precious metal contain it qualifies as Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996.

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Congleton Museum
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2015T597


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

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 14th August 2015 - Friday 14th August 2015

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2015T597

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: North West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
District: Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Lower Withington

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Generated from computer mapping software
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Congleton Museum
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Egan, G. and Pritchard, F. 1991 Dress Accessories, c.1150-c.1450 (Medieval Finds from Excavations in London) (1991) London Stationery Office Books

Similar objects

Find number: DENO-E6E8D8
Object type: TOOTH PICK
Broadperiod: POST MEDIEVAL
Report for HM Coroner on post-medieval silver toothpick/earscoop from near Longford, Derbyshire 2004 T238 Silver toothpick/earscoop with s…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: YORYM-5874B1
Object type: TOOTH PICK
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TREASURE CASE : 2004 T190 A silver toothpick, broken along the shaft. The pick in the shape of a bird's talon, emerging from the fleshy part …
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Find number: LANCUM-71B962
Object type: TOOTH PICK
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Description: Small cast silver toothpick/ear scoop fragment with both arms (ear scoop and toothpick/nail cleaner) broken off. Only the centre…
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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LVPL
Created: 6 years ago
Updated: 5 years ago

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