Collection online

pendant / balance / amulet

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Copper-alloy part of a folding balance, consisting of the central section of the beam with pointer, the hanging arm hinged to the base of the pointer by a copper-alloy rivet, and a knotted wire ring passing through the looped top of the arm; one end of the beam section has a rivet hole with traces of an iron rivet for hingeing a missing long arm and the other end is broken to a similar length, the resulting T-shape suggesting that perhaps the balance had been reused as a Thor's hammer pendant when no longer usable for weighing.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 9thC(late)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 44 millimetres
    • Width: 28 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    The hoard is dated to the last quarter of the 9th century by Dr. G. Williams on the basis of the dates of the minting of the associated coins.Some Viking hoards contain Thor's hammer pendants, possibly as protective amulets. The balance may putatively have been cut down to give it a similar, symbolic function, whether it was intended to be worn, or not.


  • Bibliography

    • TAR 2004 pps. 91-93, no. 137 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G41/dc25/sA

  • Exhibition history

    2010 16 Jun-15 Dec, York, Jorvik Viking Centre, Ainsbrook Hoard

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Metal detector find; joint purchase with Dept of Coins & Medals.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • 2004T13(156) (Treasure number)


If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: MCS26270

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.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help