WMID-36CDFE: A Post Medieval Bodkin

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Unique ID: WMID-36CDFE

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

Date: circa AD 1500-1700

Discovery: metal detecting on cultivated land.

Description: a compete silver bodkin that has been broken in two. The head of the object has a carved trefoil at its terminus. From here the bodkin has a rounded end and is sub-rectangular in plan tapering to a pointed end at the opposite terminal. The upper terminal has a circular perforation just below the trefoil. There are then two incised horizontal lines between the perforation and the rectangular eye. The eye measures 16.51mm in length and 1.6mm in width at its widest point. Along the long edges of the eye is an incised dashed line design. Below the eye is a single horizontal incised line and beyond this is a narrow keyhole-type openwork design with a join between the circular and rectangular elements of the design. This keyhole motif is edged with an incised line border. Below this motif is a carved quatrefoil with incised detailing bordered by a horizontal line above and below. Below the quatrefoil the length of the needle extends, with a number of incised lines forming a triangular shape pointing towards the pointed end of the object. The design is the same on both the face and reverse of the object. The main body of the needle has bevelled edges on both the face and reverse. There are a number of scratches and pock marks across both faces of the bodkin. The eye has a slight depression on one side and the keyhole motif is slightly warped owing to the clean break at this point on the object.

Dimensions: 140.89mm in length, 4.95mm in width, 2.69mm in thickness and 9.52g in weight.

Discussion: A number of silver bodkins have been recorded on the PAS database, the majority of which have been dated to the 16th century to 18th centuries AD. Comparable examples have also been excavated in Norwich (Margeson 1993: 10, Nos. 21-23) and have been dated to the 17th century AD. Margeson (ibid: 8) discusses that the term 'bodkin' is assumed to relate to needlework, whilst it is a term that can be applied to both needlework and head-dress or hair pins, which is the assumed use for the implement in question. Many have been recovered with rectangular eyes, a perforation for suspension as a pendant and with a scoop-shaped terminal for use as an ear scoop. Whilst the object here does not appear to have the ear-scoop function the design is very similar to Margeson's description. The comparable examples recorded on the PAS database include: 2017T598 a silver bodkin from Powerstock in Dorset (Hayward Trevarthen 2017); 2015T351 a silver bodkin from Swineshead in Lincolnshire (Boughton 2015); and 2013T867 a partial silver bodkin from Mountnessing in Essex (Marsden 2013). Examining the comparable examples, a date of circa AD 1500-1700 has been applied to the object in question.

Conclusion: The age and precious metal content of this bodkin meet the criteria for Treasure under the terms of the Treasure Act 1996.


Boughton, D (2015) LANCUM-5FCF1B: A Post Medieval Bodkin from Swineshead, Lincolnshire

Web page available at: https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/721432

[Accessed: 20 Sep 2018 12:21:48]

Hayward Trevarthen, C (2017) DOR-761A0B: A Post Medieval Bodkin from Powerstock, Dorset

Web page available at: https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/855078

[Accessed: 20 Sep 2018 12:17:06]

Margeson, S (1993) Norwich Households: Medieval and Post Medieval Finds from Norwich Survey Excavations 1971-78, Norwich: The Norwich Survey

Marsden, K (2013) ESS-1D6F96: A Post Medieval Bodkin from Mountnessing, Essex

Web page available at: https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/590768

[Accessed: 20 Sep 2018 12:25:42]

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder after being disclaimed as Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2018T671


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1500
Date to: Circa AD 1700

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 140.89 mm
Width: 4.95 mm
Thickness: 2.69 mm
Weight: 9.52 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 1st August 2018

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Susheela Burford
Identified by: Dr Susheela Burford

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2018T671

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Manufacture method: Cast
Decoration style: Floral
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Quatt Malvern (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SO7688
Four figure Latitude: 52.48938116
Four figure longitude: -2.35488311
1:25K map: SO7688
1:10K map: SO78NE
Grid reference source: Centred on field
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: WMID
Created: 9 months ago
Updated: 4 months ago

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