PAS Finds: week ended 22 April 2022

PAS Finds: week ended 22 April 2022

Here is my selection of the detecting finds recorded at the PAS for the week ended 22 April 2022

Featured Find

Agnus Dei penny brooch

Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By SA2.0
Object type: Brooch
Period: Anglo-Saxon
Primary material: Silver
Date found: 01/01/1980
Location: Essex

A silver gilt coin brooch dating to the 11th century. The coin is possibly a contemporary Scandinavian copy of an Agnus Dei penny of Aethelred II. It is a Find of Note.

Scandavian copy of Agnus Dei penny

In Keynes and Naismith’s ‘”The Agnus Dei Pennies of King Æthelred the Unready” they write “The Agnus Dei type provoked a number of imitations in eleventh-century Scandinavia. The bulk of these present garbled legends which offer no reliable clue to what mint or moneyer’s work might have provided a model

Modification of the Agnus Dei penny

Keynes and Naismith noted that of the 21 Agnus Dei pennies known in 2011, ten had been modified for jewellery. They say “Piercing coins for use as jewellery was not especially unusual in Viking-age Scandinavia, and so the fact that Agnus Dei pennies received such treatment should occasion no special comment. Yet the high proportion of pierced coins remains notable: … the rare and distinctive Agnus Dei coins seem to have lent themselves to decorative purposes.

© Spink

This pierced Aethelred II Agnus Dei penny was sold by Spink for £18,000 in 2018.

Treasure trove

The brooch was found in the 1980’s but has only recently been recorded at the PAS. Its discovery predates the Treasure Act and so comes under the old law of Treasure Trove. This old law specified that an object or objects had to be buried with intent to recover in order to qualify as Treasure. As this is more likely to be a single stray loss, it has not been considered to be Treasure Trove.

Selection of other finds

Photo: Surrey County Council CC By SA2.0

Harness pendant of Nicholas Fitzmartin

A heater shield shaped harness pendant dating to 1250 – 1400. The design is thought to be that of the FitzMartin family. The label azure of five points indicates that this is the shield of the eldest son. This allows a speculative attribution to Sir Nicholas Fitzmartin. He went on the eighth crusade with the future Edward I and was awarded arms in 1270.
Photo: National Museums Liverpool CC By SA2.0

Anglo-Saxon gold disc pendant

A complete gold disc pendant dating to the 7th century. These types of pendant have been dated to this period as one was found in a grave at Boss Hall, Suffolk which also contained a seventh century sceatta. It has been through the Treasure process and disclaimed.
Photo: Tyne and Wear Museums CC By SA2.0

Medieval silver brooch

A silver brooch dating to 1200 – 1450. It is inscribed on both sides with IESUS NAZARENUS REX I/IASPER FERT AURUM TUS, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews/Casper brings gold, frankincense“. This use of the names of the Magi were believed to protect against epilepsy. A Find of Note.
Photo: Derby Museums Trust CC By SA2.0

Bronze Age sickle

A late Bronze Age sickle dating to c. 850BC – 600BC. This is a Find of Note: Regional Importance
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