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Christopher Lee




Location: Sunshine Coast, Australia
Joined: 18 Apr 2006

Posts: 160

PostPosted: Thu 11 Apr, 2013 6:28 pm    Post subject: Lead pendant - any ideas?         Reply with quote

I know this isn't quite the usual fare of swords, armour, etc. but as the membership has a diverse range of skills and knowledge I thought I might just 'put it out there' and see if anyone had any ideas.

This is a lead pendant/medallion/'thing' I've had in my possession for at least the last 30+ years of so (oh crap, when did I get old enough to be able to say that?!?); it was given to me by my grandmother and I honestly have no idea how she came by it, but my impression is that it was something she'd had for a while. I can not imagine why she would have had it as it really wasn't the sort of thing she would have wanted.

The object is cast in lead, is 4cm (1.5") in diameter, maybe 2mm thick. As you can see, lead not being very durable, its taken on a few scratches, etc, but overall its in pretty good shape. As far as I can tell, it seems to represent a figure holding a horse by the reins while seemingly holding a stylised ship? On the ground beneath the horse is what looks like a dagger or a short sword with an almost celtic look to it? Overall the style looks vaguely celtic to me, but overall, I can't make any sense of it.

I posted photos from multiple angles just to try and minimise the reflections and shadows that obscure the detail.

So has anyone seen anything like this, were these made by the thousands 50 years ago as pseudo-historical knock offs; could it be someone's idea of a bit of a personal project and carved a blank and just cast a single copy; is its (unlikely) a cast copy from an original item?

So, any ideas or suggestion would be appreciated! Happy



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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Apr, 2013 4:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

it's a seal but I don't know for what or from when. 17th c.?
google "medieval lead seal" to see similar artifacts

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Apr, 2013 5:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Irish wool bale?
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Apr, 2013 8:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree, Sean. This, to me, looks like some kind of tag or ID emblem that would be attached to a commodity headed for market (i.e.-wool, cloth, hides,etc.) I doubt it would have been worn as jewelry or a necklace. But.... WTF?! ....I'm no expert. Wink ...McM
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Apr, 2013 9:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

the fact that it is preserved suggests that somebody valued it, and the form easily allows it to be worn as on a thong or watch fob. maybe a keepsake carried down under by some transported Irish rebel? A treasure for the child of a warehouse worker? Memento of a walk on the shore?

The past turns up in strange places. I've found gunflints in an English monastery garden, Spanish park and Italian gutter, and once found a large bronze "pig" in the root ball of a fallen tree.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Thomas R.




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Apr, 2013 1:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks to me like a pilgrims medaillon, depicting a saint. Maybe It's worth a look which female saint is usally shown with a horse and a ship(?) or plow (beneath the horse?). Such medaillons could be worn stitched to your clothing or your hat, hence the little eyelet.

Thomas

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Christopher Lee




Location: Sunshine Coast, Australia
Joined: 18 Apr 2006

Posts: 160

PostPosted: Fri 12 Apr, 2013 4:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for those suggestions guys, really helpful in an unexpected way. While googling lead seals (with horses, etc), or pilgrims medals I came across a few images which led me in another direction. Most of the lead seals, etc that I could find seemed to be more in the form of a proper 'arms' and pilgrims medals appeared to usually have some sort of devotional insciption; this has no inscriptions and the reverse side is completely blank, unlike some pilgrims medals.

So I happened across images of gallo-belgic coins. In general design this seems to the closest I've come to finding a match. Many of the elements are represented; the horse, a rider/charioteer with one hand to the reins, one hand raised, a wavey line in front of the horse usually represents a stalk of grain, a decorative design below the horse. I've found none with a sword/dagger below the horse, one above though. However, the ship looks distinctly out of place; i've found nothing that looks like that at all. An initial thought was that this was maybe a coin that someone dug up in england, pressed into a lump of soft clay, cut in a loop for a thong and cast in lead. However, this appears to be too large for a direct cast from a gallo-belgic/iron age coin? Also, it just appears far too 'crisp' or something, not sure what i mean there, but it looks like a 'knock off' to me? Perhaps its a victorian copy using original coins as inspiration, an antiquity for every day carry? God knows how my grandmother came by it, unless it was something that had kicked around in the family since they emigrated from the UK? Perhaps a good luck charm flogged at a fun fair or brighton pier? Anyone know it that was the sort of thing that was done in the 19thC.?



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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,787

PostPosted: Fri 12 Apr, 2013 5:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try here, they are good.

http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/forum.php

Report back Wink

I don't see a short sword or ship, despite some similarities that may seem to be begging to be such. In the other images, the chariot seems to be implied in one but not really in the others. I want to say they are kelpie amulets but they are probably not so. The one you show first does not look ancient at all to me but what do I really know? Try the folk at Treasure Net, it has worked both ways for me after id'ing a sword part for one ot their diggers.

Cheers

GC
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R. Kolick





Joined: 04 Feb 2012

Posts: 109

PostPosted: Fri 12 Apr, 2013 6:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

im taking a wild shot in the dark but it could be a master key (i used to know what the correct term is but it escapes me right now) when i worked with a jewelry maker for a bit he showed me how they would make copies of a original piece. they had a milling machine machine what he called a master key out of plastic that they would press into clay or sand to make multiple molds of the same piece. i have a silver pendent based on a greek coin that has a similar look to yous so it might be a similar concept
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Christopher Lee




Location: Sunshine Coast, Australia
Joined: 18 Apr 2006

Posts: 160

PostPosted: Fri 12 Apr, 2013 6:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys. Sorry, the examples I posted didn't have any ship or dagger present, they were just to show the closest I had come in finding anything which looked like the 'lead thing'. I did find one gallic coin with a dagger/sword above a horse, but there was no rider or boat and the horse was a lot less stylised. ButI think its an interesting lead.

Glen, I agree, the one I posted photo's of first certainly isn't ancient, though given how long its been kicking around in the family, plus, if i make a wild assumption that it may have come out from the UK when people emigrated, then it could maybe, possibly be, at the outside, 100 to 150 years old? That's a wild guess, and i could be totally wrong and it could have been made the year before my grandmother gave it to me. My problem is, what on earth is it based upon? What is it meant to represent, if anything? It seems to be a strangely archiac design for anything made within the last 100 years, and its not really jewelry as such because its made from lead. Which means i suppose it could be a master template or something? If that's the case, then there are possibly identical copies of it floating around out there.

I've sent the photos to the UK small finds department, the area which registers and assess' all of the metal detector finds that turn up. If it really is from the UK, and assuming that it isn't the only one, then maybe another one has turned up somewhere or someone has seen something like it? We'll see i suppose.

Well, lets see if anyone else comes up with any other suggestions?
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,787

PostPosted: Fri 12 Apr, 2013 7:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Let me clarify what I wrote. I do not see a boat or dagger in the one you first posted.

The folk at the link posted have seen a great many objects of this size. Worth a shot there.

Cheers

GC
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Stephane Rabier




Location: Brittany
Joined: 13 Nov 2006

Posts: 104

PostPosted: Tue 27 Aug, 2013 6:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,
it looks like the Celtic goddess Epona, it could be a casting from a gallic coin (?).
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 282

PostPosted: Tue 27 Aug, 2013 8:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I recall correctly, sometime in 18th-19 C England there was a ?fad?/?fashion? for producing these old sort of medals/medallions/tokens harking back to the medieval or ancient world - .mixing up all sorts of elements from differing periods to create what *appeared* to be a 'genuine' article ? Damned if I can recall what they were called..but I think they were named after the most prolific creators of the items ? They aren't *genuine* articles, but now they are collectible in their own right ?
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Wed 28 Aug, 2013 2:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At first impression it does look like what we call in the UK 'Billys and Charlies'. More info below but basically they were 19th cent forgers who tried to cash in on the growing craze for collecting antiquities, mainly the smaller, cheaper items.

Some of there stuff is ok, but like many similar forgers they would always go a bit too far and the suspension loops are often a dead giveaway. I suspect yours is the same. They are now collectable in their own right and the British Museum has a small selection on display

http://www.mernick.org.uk/B&C/page1.htm
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Christopher Lee




Location: Sunshine Coast, Australia
Joined: 18 Apr 2006

Posts: 160

PostPosted: Wed 28 Aug, 2013 2:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Griffin wrote:
At first impression it does look like what we call in the UK 'Billys and Charlies'. More info below but basically they were 19th cent forgers who tried to cash in on the growing craze for collecting antiquities, mainly the smaller, cheaper items.

Some of there stuff is ok, but like many similar forgers they would always go a bit too far and the suspension loops are often a dead giveaway. I suspect yours is the same. They are now collectable in their own right and the British Museum has a small selection on display

http://www.mernick.org.uk/B&C/page1.htm


Ralph and Mark, thanks for that. I think you may have hit very close to the mark. The time frame would probably fit with my family leaving england in around the mid to late 19thC, or it coming into the family later on in Australia.

However, the only concern I have is that my lead pendant is one sided, whereas the Billys and Charlies were generally double sided. I had a look through the gallery on the link and I didn't see a single sided piece. Unless mine was someone else's attempt at copying a Billy and Charlie, a forgery of a forgery? Perhaps an Australian attempt at a billy and charlie?
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 282

PostPosted: Sat 31 Aug, 2013 11:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes - "Billy and Charlies'.. that's what I was thinking of Happy Thanks for that:) I suspect they were made for the 'market trade'..the sort of 'souvenir you'd buy when visiting Blackpool or Margate. I imagine there were very many makers, of varying quality and degree of "authenticity" Happy I can well imagine one sided ones..and of lead, or pewter. I have a very low grade ?brass? one - about 2/3rds the size of a normal horse brass.
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