WMID-C2969E: Early medieval: End cap or junction from a pair of tweezers

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
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Unique ID: WMID-C2969E

Object type certainty: Possibly
Workflow status: Published Find published

A complete gold cylindrical artefact with filigree decoration. The artefact is hollow (now filled with soil) and comprises a rectangular gold sheet rolled into a circular shape. Two 'bars' of twisted gold wire run across one open edge of the artefact, forming three 'slots' between them. Each bar is made from four fine gold wires, twisted in an SZSZ format.

The outer face has been decorated extensively with gold beaded wire, forming three horizontal bands of decoration. The upper band comprises nine rows of twisted gold wire, in an SSSZSSZSS format. The central band comprises a row of four double spirals, each separated by a raised gold pellet. The upper band comprises seven rows of twisted wires in an ZSZSSZS format.


The decoration of this object is consistent with the early Anglo-Saxon period, possibly around the early seventh century. The precise function, however, is not known. Kevin Leahy (National Finds Advisor forPost-Roman artefacts, PAS) drew a parallel with a pair of Middle Anglo-Saxon gilt bronze tweezers from Reculver, Kent (British Museum, SLAntiq.396) which features a similar knob at the top holding the two limbs together. A broadly similar object from Mid Suffolk, recorded on the PAS database (SF-E5A860), is similar in construction and size, and is also decorated with filigree wire albeit in a different, slightly coarser style.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: County / local importance

Class: end cap

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2017T173


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Subperiod to: Early
Date from: Circa AD 600
Date to: Circa AD 700

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 7.7 mm
Width: 8.9 mm
Thickness: 8.3 mm
Weight: 0.9 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 8th January 2017 - Sunday 8th January 2017

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2017T173

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Completeness: Uncertain

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Staffordshire (County)
District: Lichfield (District)
To be known as: Elford

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Found whilst out searching with a metal detector
Current location: Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WMID
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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