Rights Holder: Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum
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Unique ID: WILT-E0B23A

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Description: A slightly squashed silver hawking ring or vervel of Lewis and Richardson's type C.ii. The object is composed by a small circular ring, roughly d-shaped in section, with a heraldic shield affixed to the outer face. The shield shows a two-legged and winged creature, probably a wyvern, standing left with the body covered with scales. Faint lines radiate upwards from what appears to be the animal's mouth.

Dimensions: The ring is 9.24mm in external diameter and 6.35mm in internal diameter. The escutcheon is 8.12mm in length, 6.51mm in width and 1.05mm in thick. The vervel weights 1.09g.

Discussion and Date: Vervels were used in falconry and were attached to the bird's jesses (leather thongs) and served as a means of identification.

The depiction on the shield appears to match that of the heraldic crest of William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke (b.1580 - d.1630), whose seat was at Wilton House, Salisbury. Fairbairn's Book of Crests (pg. 438) describes this as 'a wyvern with wings elevated vert, holding in the mouth a sinister hand couped at the wrist gu.' Clearer representations of this can be viewed in the armorial bindings in the collection of the University of Toronto Libraries (see link, https://armorial.library.utoronto.ca/stamp-owners/HER010).

A very similar vervel, found in an adjacent field, is recorded on the PAS database under reference WILT-B08B32 (2012 T670).

If the association with Pembroke is valid, further research would be required to determine his relationship to the findspots of these artefacts. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Seymour family owned three manors and substantial lands inside the modern parish of Collingbourne Kingston, where the vervels were found.

The form of the vervel is consistent with other examples recorded with the PAS and declared Treasure, for instance BH-D528FA (2015 T216), believed to date to the earlier 17th century.


The object contains more than 10% precious metal and is over 300 years old. Consequently, in terms of age and precious metal content, the object qualifies as potential Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996.

Sub class: type C.ii

Subsequent actions

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

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2016T284


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1580
Date to: Circa AD 1630

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 8.12 mm
Width: 6.51 mm
Thickness: 1.05 mm
Weight: 1.09 g
Diameter: 9.24 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 7th November 2015

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2016T284

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Decoration style: Heraldic
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Collingbourne Kingston (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SU2455
Four figure Latitude: 51.29362869
Four figure longitude: -1.65718871
1:25K map: SU2455
1:10K map: SU25NW
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Acquired by Wiltshire Museum

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Fairbairn, J. 1986 Fairbairn's Crests of the Families of Great Britain & Ireland Poole New Orchard Editions Ltd 438

Similar objects

Find number: WILT-B08B32
Object type: VERVEL
Broadperiod: POST MEDIEVAL
Description: Silver vervel of Lewis and Richardson's type C.ii. A silver ring of trapezoidal cross-section, with a plain, flat, outer face. A…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: KENT-91B046
Object type: VERVEL
Broadperiod: POST MEDIEVAL
A complete silver post-medieval heraldic vervel (hawking ring), dating to the late 16th-17th century AD. Lewis and Richardson Type C.i. …
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: NMS-A95326
Object type: VERVEL
Broadperiod: POST MEDIEVAL
CURATOR'S REPORT A late 16th - 17th century silver hawking vervel. Circumstance of Discovery Found while searching with a metal detecto…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WILT
Created: 6 years ago
Updated: 10 months ago

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