HAMP-F2BCF6: Late early-medieval sceptre

Rights Holder: Hampshire Cultural Trust
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Unique ID: HAMP-F2BCF6

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

A late early-medieval / early medieval (Norman) now rather squashed copper alloy openwork finial or ferrule from a staff or sceptre, probably dating to the 11th or 12th century. It consists of a 41.8mm long cone divided into two sections, both with a square or lozengiform cross-section but set at 45 degrees to each other.
The bottom section comprises four pentagonal openwork panels, a bulbous knop at the apex of each. The top-section, which slots around the apexes of the lower section, consists of four diamond- or lozenge-shaped openwork panels, converging in a rounded tip to form the apex of the object. The pentagonal panels have a lozenge-shaped cut-out in the apex and roughly triangular (with convex hypoteneuse) cut-outs in the two bottom corners. The lozenge-shaped panels have an elongated triangle cut-out diagonally placed on the left joining edge with a pentagonal panel, and two smaller elongated traingle cut-outs occupying the opposite section of the panel.
The object measures 42.2mm in length, 29.7mm in max. (squashed) width, 18.5mm in thickness and weighs 22.27g. The walls of the object are 1.7mm thick at the open end. The dimensions of the object at the four knops are 20.8x19.1mm.
The metal is a purplish-brown in colour with patches of red. There is damage to the open end where the metal is cracked in two pentagonal panels, presumably from the act of being squashed.
The object is very similar in style and shape to
WILT-8E4F97 and NARC-BDFB91 on this database, of which the former has written in its report 'Geoff Egan comments [the object] may have been on the opposite end of a staff from a larger, but 'matching', finial. ... Nick Griffiths (Salisbury Museum) comments on the similarity in shape to church towers of the 12th century and points out staff finials of similar size are still to be found in churches today'.
Presumably it is related to those objects described as sword-pommels in the London Museum Medieval Catalogue; (Ward-Perkins, 1940 pp21-26 Fig 2: 1-2) but more recently identified as cross-staff heads by Bailey (Bailey, 1994: 171-5 ). These are thought to have an ecclesiastical use, and a date range from the 11th to 12th centuries.

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: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Subperiod to: Early
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1000
Date to: Circa AD 1200

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 42.2 mm
Width: 29.7 mm
Thickness: 18.5 mm
Weight: 22.27 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Katie Hinds
Identified by: Ms Katie Hinds

Other reference numbers

Other reference: Hampshire Cultural Trust Object Entry Form WINCM 661

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Hampshire (County)
District: Test Valley (District)
Parish or ward: Hurstbourne Tarrant (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SU3853
Four figure Latitude: 51.2748865
Four figure longitude: -1.4566278
1:25K map: SU3853
1:10K map: SU35SE
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 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: HAMP
Created: 5 months ago
Updated: 5 months ago

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