SOM-BCA306: Medieval copper alloy ring seal

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:


Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

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RING

Unique ID: SOM-BCA306

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

A complete Medieval copper alloy ring seal dating to the 15th century AD. The band is rectangular in cross section, with wide flattened inner and outer faces and narrower sides which are also flat. The band expands slightly and evenly at the shoulders to meet the bezel which is a stretched octagon in plan.

The bezel is decorated with a border of incised dashes placed less than 1mm in from its edge and flanked on the outer side by narrow incised straight lines and on the inner side narrow incised concave lines on most facets. Within the frame is a capital letter I. The end of each serif of this letter is marked by an impressed pellet. Above the I is a crown and to its sides are branches topped by three pellets.

The shoulder closest to the top of the crowned initial is decorated with a single small six-pointed star placed to indicate the orientation of the design on the seal matrix.

The ring has previously been broken into three pieces which is made visible by three large transverse break running across the band. The ring has been repaired using adhesive such that it remains complete.

The band of the rings has a maximum internal diameter of 22.0m measured from the bezel to the bottom of the ring and has a maximum thickness of 2.4mm. It is 5.2mm wide. The bezel is 15.6mm long by 12.6mm wide and is 2.8mm thick. The ring now weighs 9.57 grams.

Signet rings with a crowned initial and branches to each side became increasingly common in the 15th century, it is thought the initial was for the owners first name and I (for J) is popular (Harvey and MacGuiness 1996:93). Comparable examples from the Salisbury Museum collections are published by Cherry (1991: 46, nos. 17-18), which are both given a 15th century date.

A large number of rings with these same decorations are recorded onto the PAS database, e.g. SUSS-D1CD32, SOM-140B42 and SOM-29C9A7. This example is unusual due to the octagonal rather than oval bezel, the star marking the orientation and the generally well made appearence.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: County / local importance

Inscription: I

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Chronology

Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1400
Date to: Circa AD 1500

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 28 mm
Width: 12.6 mm
Thickness: 2.8 mm
Weight: 9.57 g
Diameter: 22 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 7th October 2018 - Monday 7th January 2019

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Edward Caswell
Identified by: Mr Edward Caswell

Other reference numbers

Other reference: SCC Receipt 017850

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Dorset (County)
District: Purbeck (District)
Parish or ward: Affpuddle and Turnerspuddle (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SY8293
Four figure Latitude: 50.73632992
Four figure longitude: -2.25643603
1:25K map: SY8293
1:10K map: SY83NW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SOM
Created: About one month ago
Updated: About one month ago

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