This find was unearthed by Tyndall Jones, who is based in West Sussex. Its two main elements have zoomorphic tips and are held together by a loose rivet, which allows the main parts to swivel round. Tyndall suspected that his find could have been used as a buckle or be part of the harness furniture on a horse. However, after failing to trace anything similar in the reference works available to him, he asked if I had seen anything like it.
I was able to tell him that his find dates from the 11th or the 12th century and similar items are thought to have been used on dog leashes. The swivel allowed more movement in a leash, so it was less likely to get tangled up. A number of types are known but the zoomorphic seems to be the most common. This is one of the few artefacts that dates from the Norman period, as the better off don’t seem to have gone in for ostentatious display. Therefore, even though the swivels are not scarce they are nonetheless interesting.
This example is in good condition so I would set the minimum price at £25.
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