NMGW-79D21E: Late Medieval silver mount

Rights Holder: National Museum Wales
CC License: All Rights Reserved


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MOUNT

Unique ID: NMGW-79D21E

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

The reported object is a silver mount, bearing two incomplete inscriptions engraved against a recessed diagonally hatched background (?for enamel or niello). It reads null ce.. / bien in Black Letter script. There are two incomplete rivet holes, suggesting that it once formed part of a composite object.

Maximum height 24.6mm; maximum width 18mm; minimum width 16.8mm; thickness 0.9mm; weight 4.04g.

The object fragment has not undergone any cleaning or conservation.

In terms of design and style of lettering, the mount is probably of late fifteenth-century in date. The motto appears to be a version of the commonplace inscription nul si bien / nul ce bien / nul sy bien ('None so good', 'None this good'), which also appears on finger rings (eg PAS BUC-E077744 from Aylesbury Vale and BERK-1893D5 from Chinnor, South Oxfordshire, and WAW-F26B45 on a brooch from Rowington, Warwickshire). Similar mottoes on rings include aullt/re (?) bien (Dalton 1912, no. 729). The slightly concave curvature longitudinally and convex curvature across its width suggest that it once formed part of the grip of a sword, and the plate can be compared with a similar riveted enamelled plate with much rubbed Gothic letters, on a Sword of State of the Prince of Wales as Earl of Chester c. 1474-83 (Blair 2003, cat. no. 40). The few words deciphered on the hilt of this sword appear to be an invocation to the Virgin in Latin and Low German. The motto 'None this good' is appropriate for a fine sword. Some finger rings have paired mottoes, such as mon cuer entier ('my whole heart') and mon est desr (is my desire') (SUSS-9BD050).

The style of lettering suggests a date c. 1475. It seems likely that the surviving fragment represents only 50% of the original length, which would leave room on the missing section for another short motto or a design/enamelled shields of arms. No traces of any enamel or neillo could be found, which may once have been held in place by the cross-hatched background.

Notes:

XRF analysis of the surface by Mary Davis [XRF no. 1093-4] has confirmed that the object is made of silver, with some copper (4%) and small quantities of gold and silver.

Inscription: null ce.. / bien …

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2014TW33

Chronology

Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Subperiod to: Late
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1460
Date to: Circa AD 1500

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Height: 24.6 mm
Width: 18 mm
Thickness: 0.9 mm
Weight: 4.04 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 15th March 2014

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Mark Redknap
Identified by: Dr Mark Lewis

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2014TW33
Museum accession number: 2016.28H

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: Wales (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Monmouthshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Monmouthshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Llanbadoc (Community)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SO3701
Four figure Latitude: 51.70418708
Four figure longitude: -2.91307581
1:25K map: SO3701
1:10K map: SO30SE
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NMGW
Created: 2 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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