HAMP-CF038B: Medieval vessel (probably)

Rights Holder: Hampshire Cultural Trust
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Unique ID: HAMP-CF038B

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

An incomplete medieval (1200-1500) copper alloy anthropomorphic object of uncertain function, consisting of a short incomplete tube 16.5mm high with recentish damage to one side and a c.4mm diameter perforation at the centre of the edge opposite. To the outside surface, around this perforation, is a short moulded neck projecting from the tube at 90 degrees. To either side are shoulders (moulded to the tube) and short but spindly arms (parallel to the neck). Extending from the neck is a humanoid head, the face an inverted pentagon in shape with triangular chin and right-angled temples. To either side of the face the wrists extend from the short arms, the hands vertically upwards reaching the base of the hair line which continues across the top of the head a a short way down either side. Although most of the original patina is missing, the hair is detailed with parallel grooves forming a V-shape from the centre of the head (and resulting in an undecorated triangular patch at the top-back of the head). The face itself has rounded cheeks below lentoid hollows, at the centre of which is a protruding lentoid eye. Between, with the tip and patina missing, is a wide triangular nose. The mouth is in the form of a short tube with a rib flanking the open end (missing through damage to the underside). It measures 8.2x7.2mm with a central perforation 4.3x4.9mm.
The walls of the tube are 2-3mm thick, the break to the back of it is 5.1mm wide and perhaps it originally joined with another object at this point. The base of the tube has an internal diameter of 11.9mm, the walls flaring to give an internal diameter of 14.0mm at the opposite end.
The object measures 41.7mm in length, 20.5mm in max.width (across the tube; the head is 18.2mm wide across the hands), 18.1mm in height and weighs 31.90g. The metal is a bluey-olive green and where the patina survives it is smooth and shiny.


It is likely this object formed part of a ewer, aquamanile or other medieval vessel, perhaps as a spout, although the aperture for liquid is quite narrow and the collar-like tube makes little sense, unless perhaps used as a pourer for a tap with cylindrical (missing) body, held by the tube.
The hands of the figure are presumably covering its ears, and the cheeks appear to be blowing through the mouth/ tube and give it the appearance of a gargoyle. A parallel for this object has not yet been found.

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: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1200
Date to: Circa AD 1500

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 41.7 mm
Height: 18.1 mm
Width: 20.5 mm
Thickness: 18.1 mm
Weight: 31.9 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 708

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Dorset (County)
District: East Dorset (District)
To be known as: St. Leonards and St. Ives

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 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: 16 days ago
Updated: 14 days ago

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