WILT-435D96: Medieval Ampulla

Rights Holder: Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum
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AMPULLA

Unique ID: WILT-435D96

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

An incomplete medieval lead ampulla dating to the period AD 1350-1530.

The item is flasked in shape, with a sub rectangular neck with faceted base corners, and bulbous D shaped base. The object complete except for two handles which would have been located on either side of the neck. Both would have been utilised as suspension loops. The neck is decorated with a series of fine transverse grooves within a fine lined border. This pattern travel horizontally all the way around the neck. For the base, the front face is escalloped, and the reverse face presents a visual design of the letter W with a crown on top. Surrounding the letter are three fine circumferential rings. The smallest area where the letter is inscribed is crosshatched. The border of the design only surrounds the curved edge of the base and is filled with fine scratch lines (possibly to mimic the continuation of the escallop design.

Overall, the ampulla is 48.41mm in height and 29.55mm in width and 10.86mm in thickness. The object weighs 40.46g.

Ampullas are believed to be brought by pilgrims to holy sites and are supposedly filled with thaumaturgic water. The scallop design can be associated with Christianity, as the shape is the same as a priests dish which holds and pour baptismal water (Spencer 1990).. The design can also be associated with St James, also known as Santiago de Compostela, as he used a scallop shell to feed and water the pilgrims (Spencer 1990).

Reference: Spencer, B. 1990. Medieval Catalogue: Part 2. Salisbury: Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Chronology

Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1350
Date to: Circa AD 1530

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Height: 48.41 mm
Width: 29.55 mm
Thickness: 10.86 mm
Weight: 40.46 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Grace Clark
Identified by: Miss Grace Clark

Other reference numbers

Other reference: SSWM 5054

Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

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

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: ST8643
Four figure Latitude: 51.186053
Four figure longitude: -2.2016938
1:25K map: ST8643
1:10K map: ST84SE
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

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

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