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A Fifteenth-Century Mercury-Silvered Buckle from Hillington, Norfolk

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 April 2011


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Copyright © The Society of Antiquaries of London 1988

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33 Fingerlin, I., Gürtel des hohen und späten Mittelalters (Munich, 1971), 434, cat. no. 396.Google Scholar

34 Ibid., 164.

35 Perkins, J. B. Ward, ‘Bronze belt chapes from London’, Antiq. J. xix (1939), 197–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

36 Fingerlin, , op. cit. (note 33), 162–76.Google Scholar

37 Bara, A., ‘Trois objets en argent de la trouvaille de Liège de 1921’, Bull. Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, 3rd ser. xvi (1944), 83 ff.Google Scholar

38 Tait, H. (ed.), Jewellery through 7000 years (London, 1976), 164 no. 271a.Google Scholar

39 However it should be noted that Mrs Beeton, in the first edition of her book of Household Management (London, 1859, part 21, para. 2316, 995)Google Scholar observed that many proprietary silver cleaning powders at that time contained mercury. Such a polish could leave traces detectable by XRF.

40 Hawthorne, J. G. and Smith, C. S. (trans.), On Divers Arts, The Treatise of Theophilus (Chicago, 1963), 112.Google Scholar

41 Biringuccio, V., The Pirotechnia, trans. Smith, C. Stanley and Gnudi, M. Teach (New York, 1959), 367.Google Scholar

42 Niece, S. La, ‘Technolog y of silver plated coin forgeries’, in Archibald, M. M. and Cowell, M. (eds.), Metallurgy in Numismatics III, forthcoming.Google Scholar

43 Belt hook (British Museum registration no. OA 1947,7-12,417), deer OA (1936,11-18,257) and bowl (OA 1954, 5-24, 486).

44 Mitchenerand, M. B.Skinner, A., ‘Contemporary forgeries of English silver coins and their chemical compositions: Henry III to William III’, Numis. Chron. cxlv (1985), 209–36.Google Scholar

45 Riley, H. T., Memorials of London and London Life (London, 1868), 337,Google Scholar 397-8,400. Red-daway, T. F. and Walker, Lorna E., The Early History of the Goldsmiths Company 1327-1509 (London, 1975), 241,Google Scholar quoting Stat. 5 Henry IV (1404), c. 13.

46 Since this note was written analysis of the belt chape from Broken Wharf, London (pi. XLVife), kindly allowed by Brian Spencer of the Museum of London, has also revealed mercury and silver on the surface, (Museum of London no. A 2565; Perkins, Ward, op. cit. (note 35), pl. 1).Google Scholar Also analysis of an early fifteenth-century buckle from Missenden Abbey (Aylesbury Museum, MA 83, 81) (pi. XLVIc) and an early fifteenth-century copper alloy belt chape from Dinas Powys, Wales (pl. XLVId), inscribed in black letter ihs help m (National Museum of Wales 1987. III H) (Morgannwg, xxxi (1987), 86),Google Scholar showed that they were both mercury-silvered.