DEV-C6D8F7: Medieval copper alloy horse harness pendant

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
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Unique ID: DEV-C6D8F7

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

An extrmely elaborate enamel inlaid gilded copper alloy horse harness pendant, probably dating to c. AD 1300-1425. The pendant is broadly piriform in plan with a cusped border; a transverse suspension loop with a drilled perforation expands from the top. Immediately inside of the border and following its line is an engraved channel inlaid with white enamel. The pendant is decorated with a central, large garnished lozenge bearing a paly of six; both sets of the alternating bars are enamel inlaid but have been discoloured, both now a shade of dark green. The spaces above and below the lozenge are filled with ermine-like enamel inlaid cells, inlaid white with red tips, and fields of incised cross-hatching. Traces of gilding survive in several areas of the pendant.

Dimensions: length 86.8mm; width 46.5mm; thickness 6.4mm; weight 32.96g.

A very similar pendant, although with less elaborate enamel decoration, can be seen published by Ward-Perkins (1940: plt. XVIII, no. 5), which he dates to the early 15th century. An enamelled pendant of the same form is in the collection of the Metropolitan museum of art, suggested to be possibly Spanish in origin (accession no. 04.3.364). Heraldic pendants are typically dated to the 13th and 14th centuries (Griffiths 1986), with Ashley (2002) noting how the fashion was already in decline by the end of the 14th century. If the central paly is heraldic, any identification is made more difficult by the loss of the original colours, however that both were enamel inlaid would suggest that it did not incorperate argent or or. Nevertheless, both in its form and in the quality of its enamel, this pendant is of unusually high quality.

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1300
Date to: Circa AD 1425

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 86.8 mm
Width: 46.5 mm
Thickness: 6.4 mm
Weight: 32.96 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 20th August 2017 - Sunday 20th August 2017

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Wil Partridge
Identified by: Mr Wil Partridge

Other reference numbers

Other reference: SCC receipt: 019762

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Devon (County)
District: Mid Devon (District)
Parish or ward: Tiverton (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SS9814
Four figure Latitude: 50.91641851
Four figure longitude: -3.45237615
1:25K map: SS9814
1:10K map: SS91SE
Grid reference source: Generated from computer mapping software
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

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

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