WREX-55AF7A: Fragment of an incomplete papal bulla of Pope Clement V

Rights Holder: National Museum Wales
CC License:


Image use policy

Our images can be used under a CC BY attribution licence (unless stated otherwise).

BULLA

Unique ID: WREX-55AF7A

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

A very worn, fragmentary and reused medieval lead alloy papal bulla of Pope Clement V (1305 to 1314). The obverse depicts the faces of St Peter and St Paul below the inscription SPASP[E] (SPA = Sanctus Paulus, SPE = Sanctus Petrus), all of which are surrounded by the remains of a beaded border. St. Paul is seen on the left looking right, with a long pointed beard and short grooved hair, St. Peter is now missing. The reverse bears the legend CLE / [MEN]S / [:PP] V within a beaded border. A squashed hole is visible on the perimeter at 12 o'clock with a partial hole visible at 6 o'clock; these would have been for the attachment cord.

The object has clearly been re-used since it has a large circular hole cut in the centre, suggesting it may have been re-used either as a spindle whorl or as a weight.

Diameter: 36.6mm; thickness: 6.5mm; internal diameter of central hole: 12.9mm; weight: 23.3g

Notes:

Papal bullae were used as seals on official papal documents sent out from Rome (during the schism, Avignon) as a means of authentication. Tim Pestell has stated on other bulla records: "Papal bulls came as two basic types, according to the contents of the document: Tituli, or "Letters of Grace", essentially granted or confirmed rights, conferred benefices or promulgated statutes. They generally had their lead bullae attached with cords of silk. Mandamenta, or "Letters of Justice" were mandates that conveyed papal orders, prohibitions or injunctions, and had their bullae attached by hemp threads". They may have also had a secondary use as an amulet.
Pope Clement V is remembered for "suppressing the order of the Knights Templar and allowing the execution of many of its members, and as the Pope who moved the Curia from Rome to Avignon, ushering in the period known as the Avignon Papacy" (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Clement_V).

Evidence of reuse: Circular hole cut at the centre.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Chronology

Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1305
Date to: Exactly AD 1314

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 6.5 mm
Weight: 23.3 g
Diameter: 36.6 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 18th June 2018 - Monday 17th September 2018

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Susie White
Identified by: Dr Susie White

Other reference numbers

Other reference: NWales PAS 170918/1

Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead Alloy
Decoration style: Figurative
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: Wales (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Flintshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Flintshire (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Mostyn

Spatial coordinates


Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Found while metal detecting.

References cited

No references cited so far.

Similar objects

Find number: HAMP-F1FD2A
Object type: BULLA
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
A rather worn medieval lead papal bulla of Pope Clement V, whose papacy lasted from 1305 to 1314. The obverse depicts the faces of St Peter a…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: WILT-9B90B5
Object type: BULLA
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
A Medieval lead Papal bulla of Pope Innocent IV, whose papacy lasted from 1243 to 1254 AD. It measures 37.79mm in diameter, 5.29mm in thickne…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: HAMP-F0628C
Object type: BULLA
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
A medieval lead papal bulla of Pope Urban V, whose papacy lasted from 1362 to 1370. The obverse depicts the faces of St Peter and St Paul be…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WREX
Created: 8 days ago
Updated: 8 days ago

Other formats: this page is available as qrcode json xml geojson pdf rdf representations.