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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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holy water-box / candle-box

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1891,0317.2

  • Description

    Rectangular box, for candles or holy water (?) partitioned into two; one side a cylindrical opening, other side a slit in the top. Earthenware covered with presumed tin glaze (except the foot). Painted on the top with roundels of six Medici `palle', a roundel with "S", incised tree-like emblem repeated 6 times, and the arms of Sciarelli of Siena (?). Sides painted in compendiario style with putti and an inscription "AVE MARIA MATER DEI".

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  • Date

    • 1565 (14th December)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 14.5 centimetres (max)
    • Length: 25.2 centimetres (max)
    • Width: 18.5 centimetres (max)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        cylindrical opening
      • Inscription Transliteration

        .ADI..14..DICêBRE. 1565..FECIT
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        body
      • Inscription Content

        AVE MARIA MATER DEI
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        roundel
      • Inscription Content

        S
  • Bibliography

    • Wilson 1987 238 bibliographic details
    • Thornton & Wilson 2009 cat. 118 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G68/11/3/1

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2012 - Present, London, BM, G68 Money Gallery

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1891

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1891,0317.2


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Object reference number: MCN9670

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