HESH-F78346: Mount, harness fitting, or escutcheon of probable late Iron Age or early Roman date (200 BC – 200 AD)

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: HESH-F78346

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

Cast copper alloy mount, harness fitting, or escutcheon of probable late Iron Age or early Roman date (200 BC – 200 AD).The mount is irregular in both plan and profile. In plan it is broadly semi circular with two projecting flat knops, one located at the top of the artefact and on located at the base. The knop at the bottom is small than that at the top. The front face of the mount is domed (convex) and the rear face is dished (convex). Rising from the centre of the fitting is a tapering broken projection. This is sub-circular in cross section and projects 8.7mm from the face of the mount. In cross section the mount is broadly D shaped. The mount measures 36.5mm length, 48.2mm width, and is 15.9mm thick. It weighs 30.08 grams.

The mount is decorated with three panels of red enamel. These are arranged in a symmetrical pattern. On the left and right hand side of the mount are two circular (large annulets) panels of red enamel each with a central pellet of copper alloy. In the centre, between these two annulets is third sub-triangular panel of re enamel. This is positioned in a vertical line with the two knops and the central projection. The enamel on all of the panels has degraded and is cracked. The triangular panel has lost most of its enamels and beneath this is an area of white coloured paste or resin. There are no other cast or incised decorative motifs present on the mount. To either side of the two circular red panels are two pierced rivet holes. One of these holes has a small square headed copper alloy rivet through it. This square rivet or nail, and possibly the two rive holes, are likely to be later additions or repairs. The reason for this is that the pointed end of the rivet / nail projects on the front face of the mount. This would suggest that the overall decorative finish of the mount was not important. The reverse of the mount is plain and undecorated.

The mount is a light - mid green colour with an even but abraded patina which covers all surfaces. A similar patina has developed over the broken projection which suggests that the damage occurred in antiquity. The mount has been abraded and the edges as a consequence are asymmetrical. Where the abrasion has occurred small areas of powdery light green copper corrosion have developed. There is a large area of damage (plough scar) on the reverse of the mount and this is likely to have occurred recently. A conclusive identification for this artefact has not been found. Instead three similar suggestions have been provided. The first two that it is a form of mount or harness fitting is most likely. However, the presence of the repairs (rivets) and the curved reverse might indicate that the object may have been an escutcheon on either a metal or leather vessel. No parallels have been discovered for this artefact and the late Iron Age / early Roman date is suggested on stylistic grounds.

Class: Harness Fitting
Sub class: Escetcheon

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: IRON AGE
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: IRON AGE
Period to: ROMAN
Date from: 200 BC
Date to: AD 200

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 36.5 mm
Width: 48.2 mm
Thickness: 15.9 mm
Weight: 30.08 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 21st January 2005

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Peter Reavill
Identified by: Mr Peter Reavill

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Inlaid with enamel

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)
District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Herefordshire

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: HESH
Created: 14 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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