Purse Bar
Finder County Date Recorded
Hidden GLOUCESTERSHIRE Sat June 3, 2006
Recorded By Views Validated by
Hidden 1396 Chris Chandler
Material Size (mm) Date
Copper Alloy Length (without frame) 56mm, (with frame) 108mm, Height 60mm Late 15th to early 16th century

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Description: A late Medieval to early Tudor period type B1* purse bar complete with swivelling suspension loop. The bar has a central sub-rectangular boss with short circular-section side bars and globular terminals. One side bar retains a large section of the undecorated pendant frame through which two holes have been drilled for attachment to the bag or purse. The opposing side bar retains a small fragment of the pendant frame. Both faces of the central boss are decorated, one side with four diagonally set grooves that terminate at the foot of the boss, the other side decorated with a crude design, possibly a shield with a seemingly random pattern at its centre. The suspension loop is large, ovoid in shape and has three collars just below the loop.


*Type B1 - London Museum Catalogue (1940) Typology


Designed to be slung from the belt by the suspension loop the purse bar had two metal arms from which the purse bag hung. In most cases the cloth or leather purses would be sewn to the frame through the drilled attachment holes. Metal purse frames were fashionable towards the end of the Medieval period making their first appearance around 1460. By 1550 they were no longer fashionable and except for a few illustrated examples from the latter part of the 16th century, purses progressed to being much simpler in design being made almost entirely of cloth or leather.
Keywords: Purse Bar
Object Type: Purse Bar Object Classification: Type B1 - London Museum Catalogue (1940) Typology
Object Sub-classification: Object Description:
Object Inscription: Period: Late medieval to early Tudor
Date Range: Late 15th to early 16th century Primary Material: Copper Alloy
Additional Material: Method of Manufacture: Cast
Surface Treatment:
Weight (grams): 50.4g Size (mm): Length (without frame) 56mm, (with frame) 108mm, Height 60mm
References: Brian Read, Metal Artefacts of Antiquity, No. 921. Comments: Additional images at: www.detego.co.uk/medieval_dress_accessories.html
Findspot: Near Gloucester County: GLOUCESTERSHIRE
Recorded elsewhere: No Finder: Hidden
Metal Detector Used: Explorer II Record validated by: Chris Chandler


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