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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    A medieval gold locket in the form of a miniature padlock. The padlock appears to be made in two pieces, the outer casing, and the bar across the top which is attached to one of the side panels. A U-shaped slot in the opposite side panel was dsigned to take the key, which does not survive. Single suspension loops on either side of the padlock each hold a gold link: the padlock was probably originally used to fasten two ends of a chain. The base is decorated with cusping which terminates at each end with a fleur-de-lys, one of which has lost a petal; the other has become slightly detached from the casing. A small area of damage in one corner of the padlock has pierced the casing. Each side of the padlock is decorated with an engraved panel containing a scroll which bears the black letter inscription, on one side, 'cauns' and on the other side, 'repentir'. The upper corners are each decorated with small, five-lobed flowers. The locket may originally have been enamelled, although no trace of this now survives.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 15thC(mid)-15thC(late)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 12.5 millimetres (including cusping)
    • Width: 13 millimetres
    • Width: 18 millimetres (including suspension rings)
    • Thickness: 3 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

        Black letter
      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Translation

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

        Black letter
      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Translation

        regret or repentance
      • Inscription Comment

        This may be read as 'sauns (ie sans) repentir', perhaps meaning 'without regret, or repentance', and may have been an amatory phrase.
  • Curator's comments

    The Newark padlock is closely comparable to the padlock from the Fishpool hoard, found in 1966 in Fishpool, Nottinghamshire, now in the British Museum. The Fishpool padlock is slightly larger, with three further loops for the suspension of pendants, and with an inscription ('de tout mon cuer') engraved amid floral sprays on either side of the casing. The Fishpool hoard is thought to have been deosited in May 1464, perhaps as a result of upheaval during the Wars of the Roses, either before or after the Battle of Hexham. This locket is probably of a similar date and manufacture.
    For the Fishpool hoard, see J.Cherry, 'The Medieval Jewellery from the Fishpool, Nottinghamshire, Hoard', Archaeologia 104 (1973), 307-321.


  • Bibliography

    • TAR 2008 p. 158, no. 354 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history


    2013 22 Mar-22 Jun, Brugge, Bruggemuseum-Gruuthuse, Gruuthuse Manuscript

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Metal-detector find

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • 2008T506 (Treasure number)
    • DENO-E69756 (PAS Database Number)


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Object reference number: MCM29189

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