SF-738DDB: Lead-alloy ampulla fragment

Rights Holder: Suffolk County Council
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Unique ID: SF-738DDB

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

An incomplete cast copper-alloy ampulla of Spencer's type II dating to the Medieval period, c. 1350-1500. Only the lower half of the object survives intact, consisting the bag-shaped body- with the suspension lugs, neck and mouth broken away abruptly in old damage. The ampulla has been decorated on both faces via the means of moulding, one face depicts a scallop-shell like design formed of tightly spaced radiating lobes, and the opposing face demonstrating a crowned 'W' set against a cross-hatched background. Preserved in fair condition with a creamy brown patina, it survives to a maximum length of 31.85mm, 30.08mm wide at its widest point, and c. 5.6mm thick at its midpoint. It weighs 21.54g.

A similar ampulla fragment also decorated with a crowned 'W' is recorded on the PAS database as HAMP-4FB7EC.Spencer suggests (1990, pp. 60-61) that ampullae bearing the crowned letter 'W' have been tentatively associated with the cult of Our Lady of Walsingham (Norfolk). The letter may also have had a more general meaning as a double 'V' (standing for Virgo Virginum) and 'M' for Maria when inverted.

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 1500

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 31.85 mm
Width: 30.08 mm
Thickness: 5.6 mm
Weight: 21.54 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 30th October 2017

Personal details

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Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead Alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Suffolk (County)
District: St. Edmundsbury (District)
To be known as: Thelnetham

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SF
Created: 4 years ago
Updated: 4 years ago

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