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shield / boss

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Shield boss, iron, with a slightly convex cone, a straight wall with an overhanging carination and a narrow flange. It has a parcel-gilt copper alloy apex disc with a plain circular gilded field in the centre, surrounded by a ring of gilded zoomorphic decoration. The gilded areas are surrounded by two circles of silver sheet.
    The flange is fitted with five parcel-gilt copper alloy rivets. Three have a small, circular silver sheet in the centre surrounded by a recessed gilded, ribbed ring. Two have a smaller circular silver sheet in the centre surrounded by a recessed gilded, ribbed ring with a raised border covered with plain silver sheet.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 6thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 155 millimetres
    • Height: 88 millimetres
    • Width: 16 millimetres (of flange)
    • Length: 8 millimetres (of rivets)
    • Diameter: 41 millimetres (of apex)
  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    25 October 2001

    Treatment proposal

    Examine, X-ray, clean, repair, stabilize, and repack as required.


    The shield boss is in good condition overall. The object is corroded and has an uneven surface with some raised blisters of orange and brown corrosion products. Small areas on the flange of the boss are missing and one of the rivets is detached from the object. The surface is also covered with sandy soil from excavation. The gilded apex is in good condition overall with only a few small areas of gilding missing. There are wear marks present on the gilded surface. The surface of the apex is covered with both iron corrosion products and copper corrosion products that are obscuring the gilding. The silver sheet circles on the apex are in poor condition. The silver is heavily corroded with thick layers of silver sulphide corrosion present. This is in complete contrast to the silver circles on the rivets which are hardly corroded at all. The organic remains of leather and wood are largely mineralised.

    Treatment details

    The object was examined under the microscope at up to X100 magnification. The corrosion products obscuring the gilded apex were removed mechanically with a scalpel amd chemically using 15% Formic acid. The formic acid was rinsed away using swabs of distilled water. The gilded rivets were cleaned in the same way. The sheet silver was cleaned mechanically using a scalpel under magnification. The area under the sheet silver was consolidated to provide strength using 20-30% Paraloid B72. The iron was cleaned both manually using a scalpel and mechanically with the air-abrasive using Aluminium oxide, No1 powder. This removed the soil and the iron corrosion products obscuring the surface. The organic remains were left in situ. The gaps in the flange were filled using Microballoons (silica or phenolic resin) mixed in a 3:1 ratio with 30% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone) and Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol). The fill was colour matched to the object using cryla acrylic paints. The surface of the iron was consolidated using 3% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in 50:50 Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol) and Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone). The object was packed in plastazote and stored with silica gel as a desiccant in a sealed stewart box. March 2002 This object was loaned to the National trust in March 2002. While the object was being installed the fill on the flange detached. The fill was reattached using HMG heatproof and waterproof adhesive (cellulose nitrate).

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Finds were discovered during the archaeological excavations before the Visitor Centre was constructed. The National trust donated all of the finds to the British Museum.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • SF2113 (Small find number)
Shield boss, iron, with parcel-gilt apex disc and five parcel-gilt rivets on the flange.

Shield boss, iron, with parcel-gilt apex disc and five parcel-gilt rivets on the flange.

Image description



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Object reference number: MCS32430

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