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https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/templates/general_wide/img/logo.png UKDFD Recording Software https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/ Weights https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/early-medieval/weights.html Lead 'Weight' with Copper-Alloy Inset https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/early-medieval/weights/lead-weight-with-copper-alloy-inset-54448.html Thu, 23 May 2019 17:48:12 GMT Weights Lead 'Weight' with Copper-Alloy Inset  
Description: A decorative copper-alloy disc that is embedded into a separate cheese-shaped lead base. The disc is flat and symmetrically chip carved with a gilt finish, and depicts two confronted vines with entwined stems and leaves. The back of the lead base element has iron staining evident.

The disc may have originally been a brooch or mount, but no similar object has yet been traced. The design aesthetically encapsulates the naturalistic and insular art form inspired by Christian beliefs evolving within the later part of the Anglo-Saxon period. Identical curvilinear vine ornamentation can be seen on a 9th century limestone cross-shaft fragment at York Minster (See below reference; Webster & Backhouse). Note also; LEIC-413B05 as stylistically similar. The inset disc would appear then to be a 9th century piece, embedded into a contemporary or later lead base element.

The practice of embedding objects in a lead base seems to be most prevalent from the 9th to the 11th century AD, although earlier dateable examples exist. Many such items can be reliably associated with the Vikings, but some may be linked with the Anglo-Saxons. The fact that a number of them have been found inset with coins (UKDFD 26555) suggests that, at least in some cases, they might have been used for weighing bullion, but other possibilities exist, including their use as gaming pieces.

See also; UKDFD 46556, UKDFD 36170 & UKDFD 14402

Dating of weights with embedded objects is discussed by Norman Biggs and Paul Withers in Lead Weights - The David Rogers Collection (pp.18-20), and by Nigel Mills in Saxon & Viking Artefacts (pp.84-86).
Category: Early Medieval, Weights
Category: Weights
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Weight https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/early-medieval/weights/weight-31862.html Tue, 14 Jun 2011 00:00:00 GMT Weights Weight  
Description: A teardrop-shaped cast lead/tin alloy weight with a silver face-mask embedded in the top face. The face-mask depicts an elongated male head with moustache, pointed beard and swept-back hair. A short stump projecting upwards from the centre of the hair is possibly the base of a suspension loop that has broken off or been removed. The back of the weight has a small lead/tin alloy plug. Traces of gilt are present in the recesses of the face-mask.

The face-mask possibly dates circa 7th century AD, or even a little earlier, but might have been converted to its present use at a later date. Many lead weights with embedded objects are reliably associated with the Viking period, but some may have been used by the Anglo-Saxons.
Category: Early Medieval, Weights
Category: Weights
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Horse Figurine / Weight https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/early-medieval/weights/horse-figurine-weight-13841.html Thu, 05 Jun 2008 00:00:00 GMT Weights Horse Figurine / Weight  
Description: A cast copper-alloy figurine in the form of a stylised standing horse with ring-and-dot decoration on the head, body and tail. It is possibly a weight of a type that is associated with Norway and other Scandinavian countries. These are found in binary divisions of the mark, which was equal to 8 øre (214.32g). At 25.45g, it is very close to a weight of 1 øre.

The dating of these rare objects is problematic. Some, like the present example, have decorative and stylistic features that suggest the Viking period, but they are generally dated to the time of King Håkon V (1299-1319) of Norway (e.g. PAS: CORN-A6D554).

The recorder notes that the site where the find was made "... has produced mainly Viking/Saxon. Some Roman coins have turned up but always in brown patina and heavily corroded."

In view of the decoration and the information regarding other finds from the site, an early date (circa 11th century) seems most likely in the case of the present find.
Category: Early Medieval, Weights
Category: Weights
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Barrel-Shaped Weight https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/early-medieval/weights/barrel-shaped-weight-17051.html Sun, 25 Jan 2009 00:00:00 GMT Weights Barrel-Shaped Weight  
Description: A barrel-shaped bullion weight consisting of a brass casing with an iron core. The two flat faces are marked with a swastika-like motif, the arms of which are curved and terminate in an annulet. Around this motif, there are two concentric beaded circles. The sides are also marked, but in this case the motifs are triangles with annulets at each corner, alternating with annulets alone. The spacing suggests that there are three motifs of each type, equally spaced around the circumference, but iron corrosion has obscured much of the detail. The weight is of a type associated with the Vikings. It was probably used for weighing silver, and belongs to a weight-system based on the mark of 196g. The mark was divided into 8 öre of 24.5g, or 24 örtugar of 8.17g. The present weight, at 31.6g, is very close to 4 örtugar, which corresponds with the end markings of four annulets.
Category: Early Medieval, Weights
Category: Weights
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Bullion Weight https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/early-medieval/weights/bullion-weight-29761.html Mon, 14 Feb 2011 00:00:00 GMT Weights Bullion Weight  
Description: A barrel-shaped bullion weight, consisting of a brass casing with an iron core. The two flat faces are marked with an indented design, but one face is partially obscured by corrosion. The design on the clear face consists of a linear cross botonnée with an annulet at the centre, all within a border of four concentric dotted circles. The partial design visible on the second face suggests that it was similar. The iron core is exposed on one side of the weight, due to expansion caused by corrosion.

The weight is of a type associated with the Vikings. It was probably used for weighing silver, and belongs to a weight-system based on the mark of 196g. The mark was divided into 8 öre of 24.5g, or 24 örtugar of 8.17g.

Cf. UKDFD 15383 and UKDFD 17051.
Category: Early Medieval, Weights
Category: Weights
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Polyhedral Weight https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/early-medieval/weights/polyhedral-weight-11352.html Wed, 16 Jan 2008 00:00:00 GMT Weights Polyhedral Weight  
Description: Polyhedral weight with six square and eight, smaller triangular faces. Each face is decorated with a beaded border. The square faces are punched with four dots each; the eight triangular faces have no punched dots.

Weights of this type are described by Nigel Mills in Saxon & Viking Artefacts, and are known with one to six dots on each face, indicating the denomination. The value of one unit has been calculated at 0.65 grams, the present example hasn’t been weighed but its expected weight is 2.6 grams (approx). They are found in Viking areas and are believed to have been used mainly for weighing hack gold.
Category: Early Medieval, Weights
Category: Weights
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Polyhedral Weight https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/early-medieval/weights/polyhedral-weight-34216.html Fri, 21 Oct 2011 00:00:00 GMT Weights Polyhedral Weight  
Description: A polyhedral weight with six square and eight smaller triangular faces. The square faces each have three dots; the triangular faces are plain.

Weights of this type are described by Nigel Mills in Saxon & Viking Artefacts, and are known with one to six dots on each face, indicating the denomination. They are found in Viking areas and are believed to have been used mainly for weighing hack gold.

See also UKDFD 1360 and UKDFD 11352.
Category: Early Medieval, Weights
Category: Weights
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Lead 'Weight' with Copper-Alloy Inset https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/early-medieval/weights/lead-weight-with-copper-alloy-inset-36170.html Fri, 17 Feb 2012 00:00:00 GMT Weights Lead 'Weight' with Copper-Alloy Inset  
Description: An arch-shaped lead object with embedded gilt copper-alloy mounts. The mounting composes two circa 6th - 7th century insets, each gilded. The top inset is decorated with chip carved spirals and a triquetra knot on each side. The smaller bottom inset is of an interlaced design. The insets have been purposely cut from earlier Anglo-Saxon artefacts for decorative purposes in the manufacture of the object. See UKDFD 2196 and UKDFD 19550 for examples of design.

The practice of embedding decorative objects in a lead base seems to be most prevalent from the 9th to the 11th century AD, although earlier dateable examples exist. Many such items can be reliably associated with the Vikings, but some may be linked with the Anglo-Saxons. The fact that a number of them have been found inset with silver coins suggests that, at least in some cases, they might have been used for weighing bullion, but other possibilities exist, including their use as gaming pieces.
Category: Early Medieval, Weights
Category: Weights
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Sub-Spherical Weight https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/early-medieval/weights/sub-spherical-weight-46000.html Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT Weights Sub-Spherical Weight  
Description: A small sub-spherical lead weight with a copper-alloy sheath, probably dating to the late Anglo-Saxon period. The approximately spherical form of the weight is interrupted by a single flat surface, where the lead interior is exposed. The sheath appears to be undecorated. Probably used for weighing silver bullion.

For other weights with copper-alloy sheaths, see UKDFD 3117, UKDFD 15383 and UKDFD 17051
Category: Early Medieval, Weights
Category: Weights
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Lead 'Weight' with Copper- Alloy Inset https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/early-medieval/weights/lead-weight-with-copper-alloy-inset-46556.html Mon, 27 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT Weights Lead 'Weight' with Copper- Alloy Inset  
Description: An ornate copper alloy jewelled and gilt bird that is embedded into a separate lead base. The bird is chip carved and standing facing, with long legs, arched neck and haunched wings. There is a circular recess for a jewelled setting at the top of each wing, but both are now missing. The wings and chest are decorated with a worn cross-hatched design, and the neck with a series of transverse grooves leading up to the head. It is uncertain as to whether the head is somewhat distorted and pressed, or the long beak is fashioned intentionally to face downwards against the neck.

No direct comparison has been traced to identify the original function, or indeed the origin of manufacture for the inset piece, but similarities can be noted with Merovingian 'bird' artefacts of the period 6th - 8th century AD, such as - SUR-791CE8. It is noted that the style of circular recess for the jewel, and the block-like decoration applied to the birds necks have much in common with the above piece, although the birds form in this case is more naturalistic. The piece could therefore be insular to the British Isles and seemingly influenced by arriving Germanic pieces. The early medieval period encapsulates birds such as peacocks, wading birds as well as birds of prey for decorative inspiration, and the above casting has similarities with each.

The practice of embedding decorative objects in a lead base seems to be most prevalent from the 9th to the 11th century AD and many such items can be reliably associated with the Vikings, but some may be earlier and linked with the Anglo-Saxons. The fact that a number of them have been found inset with period coins suggests that, at least in some cases, they might have been used for weighing bullion - UKDFD 26555, but other possibilities exist, including their use as gaming pieces.

See also UKDFD 36170, UKDFD 31862 & UKDFD 14402.
Category: Early Medieval, Weights
Category: Weights
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