ESS-316509: Medieval Copper-Alloy Hawk Bell

Rights Holder: Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service
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Unique ID: ESS-316509

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Complete copper-alloy sheet-metal bell, perhaps from human dress, or a dog, hawk or horse harness. The bell is made of four constituent pieces. The two halves are made from hammered copper alloy sheet and soldered together at a ridged seam running around the circumference. The suspension loop is made from a flat rectangular piece of copper alloy sheet, and has been inserted into a hole in the top of the bell. This hole has since been covered with solder to secure it in place.

The sheeting forming the body of the bell is enclosed around the fourth element, an iron pea, which is still present, though heavily rusted. Despite this, the bell still rings as the pea is not attached to the inner surface of the copper alloy sheeting and so is able to move freely.

The sounding slit and two circular holes have been cut into the bottom half of the bell. The straight edges of the sounding slit are slightly bevelled. The surface of the bell shows traces of gilding. Dimensions: weight: 2.31g, diameter: 19.2mm, height: 22.9mm.

A similar example dating to the late 15th century can be found in Egan and Pritchard, 1991: 338-9, number 1666. They do not appear to have come into fashion until the late 14th century (Egan and Pritchard 1991, 336) and were perhaps in common use into the early post-medieval period. A comparable example on the database is KENT-F84FB5.

Class: sheet spherical

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1350
Date to: Circa AD 1600

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Height: 22.9 mm
Weight: 2.31 g
Diameter: 19.2 mm

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Sophie Flynn
Identified by: Ms Sophie Flynn

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Complete
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial data

No spatial data available.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: ESS
Created: About one year ago
Updated: About one year ago

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