Bronze Bird

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Bronze Bird

Post by Spearhead » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:27 pm

I found this whilst looking for a missing part of a 6th century large Saxon brooch. It is made of bronze and is 5mm thick. Quite chunky.
What are your thoughts please?
Found yesterday with the great Safari about 5" deep on rolled plough.
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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by felixferal » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:38 pm

It looks like a Viking Raven Mount - possibly Merovingian.

I'm prepared to be shot down in flames by an expert though!!

Very nice find. ::g ::g
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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by Allectus » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:40 pm

Door latch fragment.

A ;)
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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by Spearhead » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:46 pm

felixferal wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:38 pm
It looks like a Viking Raven Mount - possibly Merovingian.

I'm prepared to be shot down in flames by an expert though!!

Very nice find. ::g ::g
They were my thoughts too. Thanks.

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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by Spearhead » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:49 pm

Allectus wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:40 pm
Door latch fragment.

A ;)
Thanks A, an interesting thought but handling it shows it is ancient bronze. It is not a door latch fragment but I strongly suspect your suggestion was tongue in cheek. ;)

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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by Allectus » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:55 pm

They do look early but, they're disappointingly modern.

A ;)
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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by Saki » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:00 pm

Very nice Spearhead.
Seen a similiar one on auction. 10th century. They couldn't decide if it was Saxon or Viking. But looking at how the Raven held such importance, I would lean towards Viking ::g
It's a lovely piece. Well found ::g
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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by oldartefact » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:04 pm

Spearhead wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:49 pm
Allectus wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:40 pm
Door latch fragment.

A ;)
Thanks A, an interesting thought but handling it shows it is ancient bronze. It is not a door latch fragment but I strongly suspect your suggestion was tongue in cheek. ;)
The thing about Mr. A .... is that he is neraly nearly nearly always right... he's a dream maker, and a dream breaker... but we can still dream.
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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by Spearhead » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:05 pm

Saki wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:00 pm
Very nice Spearhead.
Seen a similiar one on auction. 10th century. They couldn't decide if it was Saxon or Viking. But looking at how the Raven held such importance, I would lean towards Viking ::g
It's a lovely piece. Well found ::g
Thanks Saki, if Saxon it is the seventh Saxon item from the area.

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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by Allectus » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:19 pm

Found one.
click to enlarge
Image





Description

An incomplete door latch, cast in the shape of a bird's head with a long curved beak. Cf. UKDFD 18441 and UKDFD 34186.

Object Type Door latch

Object Classification Bird's head

Period Post medieval

Date Range Circa 17th to 19th century

Primary Material Copper alloy

Method of Manufacture Cast

Size (mm) 55mm long x17mm wide at narrowest point x 5mm thick

Weight (grams) 30.52g

References Cf. Gordon Bailey, Detector Finds 3, pp.66-67, No.8

A ;)
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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by Spearhead » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:22 pm

Allectus wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:19 pm
Found one.
click to enlarge
Image





Description

An incomplete door latch, cast in the shape of a bird's head with a long curved beak. Cf. UKDFD 18441 and UKDFD 34186.

Object Type Door latch

Object Classification Bird's head

Period Post medieval

Date Range Circa 17th to 19th century

Primary Material Copper alloy

Method of Manufacture Cast

Size (mm) 55mm long x17mm wide at narrowest point x 5mm thick

Weight (grams) 30.52g

References Cf. Gordon Bailey, Detector Finds 3, pp.66-67, No.8

A ;)
Can't argue with that A, thanks for taking the time to find it.

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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by Allectus » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:27 pm

British by Birth - English by the Grace Of God.

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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by muckyluck » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:35 pm

Hey don't feel bad about it! You get more discerning as you go along in this hobby.
I used to get excited about all kinds of stuff.. drawer pulls.. clock ferrules..
I even thought a round steel ball with 6lbs stamped on it was a cannon ball.
Turned out to be a Shot Put! :)) ::g

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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by chip » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:44 pm

My not be Viking, but still a nice thing. That would take pride of place on my “shelf of all things found”.
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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by fred » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:47 pm

We are not worthy! :D
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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by felixferal » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:47 pm

You live and learn! rl;

Everyday's a a school day here... Top ID Allectus! ::g ::g
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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by littleboot » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:47 pm

Allectus really is Nemesis isn't he.... :))
Still a nice find.
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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by alloverover » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:03 pm

littleboot wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:47 pm
Allectus really is Nemesis isn't he.... :))
Still a nice find.
Just an old git, he used to use these things so he knows :)) :)) ::g

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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by Oxgirl36 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:10 pm

The highs and lows of our hopes being raised and reduced and raised and then smashed to smithereens ;))

Great ID Allectus ::g
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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by oldartefact » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:45 pm

Oxgirl36 wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:10 pm
The highs and lows of our hopes being raised and reduced and raised and then smashed to smithereens ;))

Great ID Allectus ::g
I like to think that the likes of Mr.A ... more often confirm our hopes... than smash then to smithereens... many of my finds get smashed... however positivity is what keeps us all going :) :) :)
And my next field has positivity written all over it, will be taking Roamingrob ... so fingers crossed.
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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by sweepstick47 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:56 pm

Top ID from Allectus ::g ss47
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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by watermouse » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:56 am

every time I see BIRD I hope its an owl of Minerva lol..not seen one as yet

Minerva as many know im sure is derived from the greeks Athena.they had a little owl lol

Athena/minerva with her little owl
Image


also you will remember at Aqua Sulis (Bath) was a temple of Minerva.i live near there lol hense the interest in MINERVA....and little roman owl finds lol

if you ever come across a coin of Domitian son of Vespasian which has the figure of Athena/Minerva...at her feet and if its a coin in reasonable condition you will see the little owl.

"the owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk"..hegel

nice beaky bird find ::g ::g ::g

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Re: Bronze Bird or Can or worms?

Post by Spearhead » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:21 pm

Spearhead wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:27 pm
I found this whilst looking for a missing part of a 6th century large Saxon brooch. It is made of bronze and is 5mm thick. Quite chunky.
What are your thoughts please?
Found yesterday with the great Safari about 5" deep on rolled plough.

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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by Spearhead » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:23 pm

Spearhead wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:21 pm
Spearhead wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:27 pm
I found this whilst looking for a missing part of a 6th century large Saxon brooch. It is made of bronze and is 5mm thick. Quite chunky.
What are your thoughts please?
Found yesterday with the great Safari about 5" deep on rolled plough.

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Re: Bronze Bird or a can of worms???

Post by Spearhead » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:27 pm

When I first posted this I was a little short of time so I would now like to expand the debate. Previously I did not have time to show an image of the reverse of the piece. This is it;
reverse.jpg
You will note that the bird design is the same on both sides.
Allectus very efficiently and kindly led us to the source of the identification and dating of this piece. Thanks A.
My concern however is how easy it is to accept an ID just because it is in print. This may sound like sour grapes but it is not so please read on.
Looking at the PAS ID of similar "door latches" the wording on each indicates a degree of copying of text from previous similar records. One of the PAS records refers to Gordon Bailey's book and has adopted the dating of such a piece- 17th to 19th century- as guardedly indicated by Gordon. However when you actually read Gordon's words he is very careful not to date the piece but only say that where it was found had produced finds from 17th to 19th century. See scan below.
GB2.jpg
It is worrying that from these few words these pieces are now dated as 17th to 19th century. There are no examples of such latches on the internet, that I can find, apart from the PAS examples that I am discussing so I am starting to believe that there is no actual evidence to accurately date these pieces.
So from Gordon's few words it seems that a firm date and ID of these bronze birds has been accepted as correct. With total respect to Gordon it may be fair to say that his dating of the "latches" is an understandable gut feel, if there is other evidence for a firm date I would be only too please to hear it and learn from it.
My point in ranting on is to raise the awareness that just because something is printed in a book with an opinion it does not mean that it is conclusive evidence to a date or ID. I am sure that many of you will remember the Time Team episode when a 16th century book clasp was identified by an expert as a Saxon brooch!! We must not always believe what we read in a book or watch on TV, if we did I would now be the owner of about 20 of this new type of Saxon brooch.
I have been a detectorist since 1972 and I have found and handled many many artefacts. I know the bronze bird head with its hand engraved features is alot older than Victorian but the PAS ID of these things state that they could have been made up until the end of Victoria's reign. I say poppy cock but will happily concede if good proof is laid before me.

I find it bizzare that it can be so readily accepted, without question,that such a hand made bronze item could be a product of the industrial revolution.
The bronze bird could be a latch but I would strongly question why it is decorated on both sides when the side against the door would not be seen, maybe it is a question of making the item suitable for LH and RH fitting, who knows. It could be a latch but to be honest no one knows as the original ID came, I believe from Gordon's book and the ID is his ( respected) opinion. Anyway, the date of my piece doesn't really matter, it's a nice piece regardless. Had I found it before Gordon published his book associating them with 17th to 19th century my associated finds from the same area that I found it would be three 6th century Saxon brooches, two Saxon chip carved mounts and a few Roman finds. I wonder if that would then have created a different published date for these items? maybe so, maybe not.
So in summary I am just suggesting that debate and consideration on the ID and dating of unusual finds is a far better method than just accepting the first image found in a book with some words that are not necessarily evidence for accurate dating. Many artefact could fall into this situation and that could mean that many artefacts are being discarded as "modern" when they may not be.
This piece is not particularly about the item I found but it makes a useful example to discuss.
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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by littleboot » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:32 pm

I suppose one can go around in circles when it comes to dating many objects from the past. Unless one was there how can one know for sure? That is why so many every day objects are on the PAS site with date ranges of several centuries. A bit of a nonsense in some ways....and some things on the PAS are obviously wrongly dated or attributed....or so wide in date range as to be of no use as a source of information.
I know the latch looks old. And of course its worth remembering that 'modern' stuff can be two hundred years old or more. Also, just because a piece of metalwork coincides with the beginning of the Industrial Age doesn't mean it was made by machine. I find a lot of stuff that I know is early 19th century but is nonetheless 'hand-made' by the local forge or embellished someone with basic metal working tools. In consequence it 'looks old'.
I think Allectus was merely giving you a source for his ID of a door latch and a relatively modern date (as opposed to early medieval). I don't think he was quoting the book as The Word.

I do think dating things on the basis of what other finds are coming up in an area is a risky business. And we all do it. You did it yourself in your initial post. And of course 'experts' do it all the time. And yes I often used to think when watching Time-Team that the whole dating from a piece of pottery thing is flawed ....suppose they have the time-line of pottery wrong to start with? But what else can they do?
I often see people mention their 'Roman field' etc and because Roman has come off it it can be tempting to ascribe any random bit of metal that can't be readily ID'd as Roman. But its usually wishful thinking. I have a 'Celtic Field'....found some interesting Celtic items over the years. But the truth is that the vast majority of stuff I get off it is post-med tat or modern tat. Had a few moments when I've got carried away thinking something is 'something celtic'....last time it turned out to be a spring off a clothes peg. :))
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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by alloverover » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:48 pm

littleboot wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:32 pm
Had a few moments when I've got carried away thinking something is 'something celtic'....last time it turned out to be a spring off a clothes peg. :))
Astix's Mrs had to hang his clothes up with something lb so maybe it was :D :D :D

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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by watermouse » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:04 am

is it a back scratcher lol...would work a treat if u attached it to a wooden rod of a required length lol or maybe part of an umbrella handle

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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by Ladybird66 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:53 am

Well I have my own thoughts on it,,, and I’m keeping them to myself :D

Out of interest, I have a young Raven that visits twice a day for peanuts. He sure is a big bird :-O

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Re: Bronze Bird

Post by watermouse » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:14 pm

Ladybird66 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:53 am
Well I have my own thoughts on it,,, and I’m keeping them to myself :D

Out of interest, I have a young Raven that visits twice a day for peanuts. He sure is a big bird :-O
when the raven has had enough peanuts does it cry "Nevermore Nevermore" :D

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