MEDIEVAL –  Purse Bar

Finds from Wirral

MEDIEVAL –  Purse Bar

When this find came out of the ground of caused a bit of head scratching as we didn’t recognise it.
Some good searching of the Portable Antiquities Scheme database by one of our members led us to believe that it was an incomplete medieval purse bar.
This was confirmed when it was submitted to PAS and the below link will take you up the full description.
The vertical bar in the photos above still rotates which is impressive as it dates from 1400-1600.

Portable Antiquities Scheme Statement:

An incomplete copper alloy purse bar dating to the late medieval to post medieval period (c.AD 1400-1600). Williams (2018) Class C1.

The object consists of a central sub-rectangular block with a small arms protruding from each side. One arm is broken, the other is complete and has a circular section and terminates in a rounded knop. Separately attached to the arm is a small suspension loop with a worn break. Atop of the block is an incomplete oval loop which  has an integral shaft that penetrates through the central block to the other side and is finished with a rounded knop. This acts as a swivel and still moves. One face of the is worn and shows the shaft of the swivel. The object is undecorated and has a worn surface with a light green patina.

Dimensions: Length 31.2mm; width 40.7mm; thickness (block) 7.6mm; weight 15.64g


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