sheet / strip
Copper alloy, fragment of a ?strip of sheet metal. Corroded surfaces; original edge is visible in small area (length: 4mm).
- 1900BC-1600BC (circa)
- Found/Acquired: Mold
- (Europe,United Kingdom,Wales,Flintshire,Mold)
- Length: 55 millimetres
- Width: 26 millimetres
- Thickness: 1 millimetres
- Weight: 4.6 grammes
The cape would have been unsuitable for everyday wear because it would have severely restricted upper arm movement. Instead it would have served ceremonial roles, and may have denoted religious authority.
The cape is one of the finest examples of prehistoric sheet-gold working and is quite unique in form and design. It was laboriously beaten out of a single ingot of gold, then embellished with intense decoration of ribs and bosses to mimic multiple strings of beads amid folds of cloth. Perforations along the upper and lower edges indicate that it was once attached to a lining, perhaps of leather, which has decayed. The bronze strips may have served to strengthen the adornment further.
2013 7 Aug-14 Sep, Wrexham, Wrexham Museum, Spotlight: The Mold Gold Cape
2013 2 Jul-4 Aug, Cardiff, National Museum of Wales, Spotlight: The Mold Gold Cape
22 August 2005
Reason for analysis
Report On The Scientific Examination Of 15 Bronze Age Copper Alloy Fragments (Reg. No. 1881,0516.1-15), Found Associated With A Gold Cuirass From Mold, North Wales
Fifteen copper alloy fragments originally found associated with the gold cuirass from Mold, North Wales were examined and analysed. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) showed that fourteen of the fragments were tin bronze with low levels of trace elements (the thickest fragment, no. 15, had been previously sampled by drilling and analysed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry).
Analysis reference number
In the presentation of the Mold Gold Cape to the Society of Antiquaries on 17th December 1835, a letter from Rev C.B. Clough which stated '...several pieces of copper... which had served as a stiffening or inner case or the armour. Some of these pieces are still in Mr Langford's possession' . It is therefore possible that they were acquired from Langford late in 1836 with the two gold sections 1836.0902.2-3. However in the absence of definitive evidence, they have been added to the 1881 registration.
Britain, Europe and Prehistory
If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Object reference number: BCB16795
British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.
The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.