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Unique ID: SUR-920F4E

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An early medieval cast gold cloisonné buckle tongue. The tongue comprises a mushroom-shaped base with an integral tongue, which extends outwards from the base and flares as it curves downwards towards the blunt tip. The lower edges of the tongue are decorated with a row of punched crescent motifs surrounded by a border of lightly punched dots. A double row of dots, much worn, is also visible along top of the tongue. On the back of the buckle is a gold loop, rectangular in cross-section, for attaching to the missing buckle loop.

The upper surface of the base is decorated with geometric cloisonné cell work formed from upright strips of gold sheet. The design incorporates eight cells of various shapes and sizes, the central and largest of which is empty; six retain red probable garnet inlays, some with visible waffled gold foil backings, and one retains a green glass inlay. The cloisonné cell work is bordered by two strands of gold beaded wire which conceal the join between the cells and the base itself. The beading is worn and flattened in places.


Buckle tongues of this type, with cloisonné mushroom-shaped bases, are typically attached to buckles with large triangular plates, categorised as Marzinzik's Type II.23b-ii (Marzinzik 2003, p. 50) and Hines and Bayliss' Type BU3-c (Hines and Bayliss 2013, p. 140). Most have composite decoration incorporating cloisonné and filigree motifs frequently in Salin's Style II. Their main area of distribution is south-eastern England, particularly Kent, where they are found primarily in burial contexts. The cloisonné tongue bases often combine garnets with white shell or blue/green glass, as in the Farleigh Wallop example. Examples are known from Ash, Kent (British Museum, 1862,0701.10), Wickhambreaux, Kent (British Museum, 1905,0418.14), Alton, Hampshire (Curtis Museum; Evison 1988, p. 45) and the Taplow and Broomfield 'princely' burials (British Museum, 1883,1214.1 and 1894,1216.1 respectively).

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: Regional importance

Class: buckle pin

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Hampshire Cultural Trust
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2018T425


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Subperiod to: Early
Ascribed Culture: Anglo-Saxon style
Date from: Circa AD 575
Date to: Circa AD 650

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 31 mm
Width: 63 mm
Thickness: 36 mm
Weight: 6.6 g

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2018T425

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Secondary material: Gem
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Complete
Surface Treatment: Stamped

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Hampshire (County)
District: Basingstoke and Deane (District)
Parish or ward: Ellisfield (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SU6346
Four figure Latitude: 51.20974052
Four figure longitude: -1.0995031
1:25K map: SU6346
1:10K map: SU64NW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Hampshire Cultural Trust

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Hines, J. and Bayliss, A. eds. 2013 Anglo-Saxon Graves and Grave Goods of the 6th and 7th Centuries AD: A Chronological Framework London The Society for Medieval Archaeology
Marzinzik, S. 2003 Early Anglo-Saxon Belt Buckles (Late 5th to Early 8th Centuries A.D.): Their classification and context Oxford British Archaeological Reports

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SUR
Created: 4 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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