LEIC-127138: Early Medieval gilded copper alloy harness mount

Rights Holder: Leicestershire County Council
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Unique ID: LEIC-127138

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

Early medieval copper alloy gilded mount, probably a harness fitting, 52mm long, 21mm wide and 10mm thick with a weight of 18.60g.

The object is rectangular in form and cross section and has a raised rectangular cross sectioned border. This is decorated with rope like raised decoration, flanked by a plain raised edge. Each corner has a slight triangular projection with a corresponding rounded raised area over the raised border. These are now corroded but could be curls or crescents?

The centre of the mount is decorated with a raised 'saltaire' cross which has a central semi-spherical knop and its upper surface is decorated with recessed triangular cells, arranged so their edges form a solid raised edge and a central zig zag line. Above and below this cross, in the centre of each long edge, is a semi-circular projection. These form the upper part of human face masks which face each other. They have upwards curling spirals at each side, representing hair, which sit over the raised border and cross terminals. Each face has raised oval eyes sitting below a curved T shape forming eyebrows and nose. Below this is a wide raised mouth and pointed chin filling the space running up to the crosses centre.

The remainder of the upper surface is filled with loose 'chip carved' interlace. The whole upper surface has patches of gilding, suggesting it originally covered the whole surface.

The reverse has two sub rectangular projections, each one place centrally near each short edge. One has some corroded material adhering to it, both have evidence for circular holes, now filled. The corroded example has a circular depression between it and the outside edge, suggesting a further hole or depression? The centre of the reverse, between the two rounded projections, has been incised with a rough saltaire cross.

The objects form and decoration are paralled in harness mounts from the Oseburg ship burial and Markyate, Hertfordshire which feature in Youngs, S. 1989, 'The work of Angels no. 115 and 116, page 118. There are also parallels on this database with NLM258, in all these cases the rounded projections/ faces are forming terminals at the short ends. There is also a fragmentary object, LIN-4997F4 with similar interlace decoration. Youngs dates these objects to 7th to 9th centuries.

Find of note status

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

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Ascribed Culture: Irish
Date from: Circa AD 700
Date to: Circa AD 900

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 52 mm
Width: 21 mm
Thickness: 10 mm
Weight: 18.6 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Wendy Scott
Identified by: Wendy Scott

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

County or Unitary authority: Leicestershire (County)
District: Charnwood (District)
Parish or ward: Burton on the Wolds (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SK5921
Four figure Latitude: 52.78336296
Four figure longitude: -1.12668067
1:25K map: SK5921
1:10K map: SK52SE
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LEIC
Created: 2 months ago
Updated: 2 months ago

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