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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.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Earthenware tile, solid red body glazed brown incised with a repeat pattern of a Hercules knot. No maker's mark on reverse.

  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 1898 (circa)
  • Production place

    • Factory in: Doylestown
    • (Americas,North America,United States of America,Pennsylvania,Bucks County,Doylestown)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 11.5 centimetres
    • Width: 11 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    This design, called 'Lover's Knot of Jervaulx Abbey', was based on a medieval example in the British Museum, see BM Pot Cat A95. For further discussion of this tile, see Cleota Reed, 'A Discovery of Henry Mercer's Tiles in the British Museum', Glazed Expressions no. 31, Autumn 1995, pp. 1-5, with reference to the 1901-1902 Mercer catalogue no. 125. A relief version of this design was also offered in the Mercer catalogue as no. 135. For a history of the firm, see Cleota Reed, 'Henry Chapman Mercer and the Moravian Pottery and Tiles Works', Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1979.


  • Bibliography

    • Reed 1995 bibliographic details
  • Associated titles

    • Title: Lover's Knot of Jervaulx Abbey
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1898 (?)

  • Acquisition notes

    Although the acquisition history is unknown, it is likely that the tiles were given personally to C H Read by H Chapman Mercer in 1898 or soon after.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: MCN5501

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