Monday 7 March 2011

A farthing and a harness mount tweezed from among flowers of the field

Field Pansy, Viola arvensis
Yesterday we had a club dig not far away. It was a cold day to start with but around lunchtime the sun shone through. A corn stubble field yielded me a medieval harness pendant (11-14thC) and a pair of tweezers which could be any age from Roman to medieval.

Two fields away on cow churned pasture I found a coin of an unusual size with no markings. The size and weight corresponds with early milled farthings. Diameter: 21.9-22.3mm, 5.06g. I could just make out the outline of the left side of Britannia which matches both the Charles II and William & Mary figures of Britannia (compare my coin above with a 1694 farthing). This puts it in the last quarter of the 17th century. Nothing else on either side of the coin is recognisable.

This copper alloy harness mount is unusual. The body of the pendant is circular and is concave on one face and convex on the other, like a small spoon. There is a flat projection at the top which extends into a suspension loop set at right angles to the pendant. The pendant has a dark green patina and there are minute traces of gilt surviving. This description is from this item on the PAS database which exactly matches mine, including the gilt traces. Weight: 2,34g, length: 22.65mm, width 15.14mm, bowl depth: 3.55mm, suspension loop: 5.88mm.
Tweezers - weight: 2.85g, length:32.54mm, width of end: 6.43mm
Common Field-speedwell Veronica persica

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