IOW-70F69B: Medieval: Rotary Key

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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KEY (LOCKING)

Unique ID: IOW-70F69B

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

A complete Medieval copper-alloy casket key formed of folded sheet (c. 1250-c. 1375).

The sheet was cut and perforated at one end to form the bow and cut at the other end to form a simple bit. The bow is rounded with a circular perforation and two small rounded protrusions at the top and small nicks at the base. It continues at an angle on the underside of the shank stopping short of the bit. The rolled shank is oval in cross-section and open at the bit end. The bit is formed of symmetrical clefts, two rectangular tabs.

This key is reddish brown and overlying green with flecks of a green patina.

Length: 26.0mm; width: 10.6mm; thickness: 4.1mm. Weight: 2.05g.

A similar casket key can be found illustrated in Egan (1998, 116; ref. 314), although of all those keys published in this London volume this is the only example not to have been cast. Interestingly, a far higher proportion of sheet keys were found at the site of Meols on the Wirral coast where they were thought to be local replacements for lost or broken cast examples (Griffiths et al. 2008, 167).

Very similar keys have been recorded on The Portable Antiquities Scheme database. See finds: BH-17BB72; DENO-128976; HAMP-433; HAMP-708E91; HAMP-7D8E91; LVPL-29633E; NMS-066535; NMS-3B0CE4; SUR-740A33 and SUR-8B65C6.

Egan, G. 1998. The Medieval Household Daily Living c.1150-c.1450. Medieval finds from Excavations in London 6. London. Museum of London: The Stationery Office.

Griffiths, D. Philpott, R. A. and Egan, G. 2007. Meols. The Archaeology of the North West Wirral Coast: Oxford. Oxford University School of Archaeology.

Notes:

Egan (1998, 115) notes that 'the locks cannot have been particularly robust to have been operated by such flimsy keys.'

Class: Rotary key
Sub class: Casket

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Finder
Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Chronology

Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1250
Date to: Circa AD 1375

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 26 mm
Width: 10.6 mm
Thickness: 4.1 mm
Weight: 2.05 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 11th February 2018 - Sunday 11th February 2018

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Frank Basford
Identified by: Mr Frank Basford
Secondary identifier: Mr Robert Webley

Other reference numbers

Other reference: IOW2018-1-68

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Isle of Wight

Spatial coordinates


Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Club rally
Current location: Finder
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Operations to a depth greater than 0.25m

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: IOW
Created: 6 months ago
Updated: 6 months ago

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