WMID-EE9FA1: The front view of a cast copper alloy circular bridle boss/ mount with heraldic design, dating to the 14th/ 15th century.

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

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Unique ID: WMID-EE9FA1

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

A cast and flat copper alloy circular harness bridle boss or mount (diameter: 81.6mm; thickness: 1.8mm; weight: 55.12g). There are four rivet holes placed on the boss/ mount to form a square. Two of these holes still have intact iron rivets with a high concentration of corrosion around one of them. In the centre, there is a shield-shaped raised platform with a further raised border (length: 46mm; width: 38mm) with a heraldic design of a rampant lion facing left with tail outstretched behind and mouth open. Outside the shield platform, there is incised dotted decoration in the form of double-lined triangles radiating outwards towards the edge of the mount. Additionally, particularly around the edges of the mount, there are further incised zig-zag lines which continue all the way round in the recesses of the triangles. There are abundant remains of gilding on the upper surface of the mount/ boss, especially on the slopes of the raised shield platform in the centre. The back of the mount is plain of any decoration as this would have been the side that would not be seen. There is, however, a slight recess where the shield platform is raised on the other side. Overall, the artefact is in a worn and slightly corroded but fair condition with a dark green patina. There is only one area of damage where part of the mount has broken off at the bottom of the shield-shaped platform.

A similar example is illustrated in P & E Saunders, 'Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum: Medieval Catalogue', 1991, page 21 & 25, Fig 2, Ref no 10. Even though this similar example is a harness pendant and is square in shape, it still has the central shield-shaped platform with an identical rampant lion which still has traces of enamel on it, particularly around the face. It was found in the vicinity of Old Sarum and is dated to the 14th century. Other bridle bosses are also illustrated in Clark's 'The Medieval Horse and its Equipment: Medieval Finds from Excavations in London', 1995, pages 53-55, Fig 40. All examples date to the 14th/ 15th century and most have the characteristic four rivet holes for attachment.

Sub class: heraldic

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Post AD 1300
Date to: Ante AD 1500

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 1.8 mm
Weight: 55.12 g
Diameter: 81.6 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 7th July 2004

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Caroline Johnson
Identified by: Ms Caroline Johnson

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Gold
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Staffordshire (County)
District: Staffordshire Moorlands (District)
Parish or ward: Waterhouses (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SK1152
Four figure Latitude: 53.065131
Four figure longitude: -1.8373
1:25K map: SK1152
1:10K map: SK15SW
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WMID
Created: 14 years ago
Updated: 8 years ago

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