Collection online

plaque / food-tray / culinary equipment / chopping-board

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Whalebone plaque; sub-rectangular; confronted open-work horse heads in profile at the top; ring-and-dot and incised decoration; it may have served as a chopping-board or food-tray, rather than a form of smoothing board.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 9thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 23 centimetres
    • Width: 20 centimetres
    • Thickness: 0.9 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Comment from Kidd, Haith & Ager 'Summary Catalogue' (draft MS)

    As registration no. 1891,1021.9 (COCKS A.H. 1891. Catalogue of the Scandinavian Exhibition of Antiquities and other objects collected by Alfred Heneage Cocks, on view at the Royal Archaeological Institute, June 1891, 2nd ed. London, cat. no. 49); catalogue records a "human scalp", "various iron objects entirely perished" and states that most of the things were laid on a piece of felt, the other end of which was wrapped over them"

    SMITH R.A. 1923. A Guide to the Anglo-Saxon and Foreign Teutonic Antiquities in the Department of British and Mediaeval Antiquities. London, p. 163, fig. 216
    PIJOÁN J. 1942. Summa Artis. Historia General del Arte vol VIII Arte bárbaro y prerrománico desde el siglo IV hasta el año 1000. Madrid, p. 32 fig. 36
    YANAGI M. (ed) 1966. Sekai no Bijutsukan 4 The British Museum II. Tokyo, p. 171 no. 84, pl. 84M.A. research by E. Isaksen at Universitet i Tromsø (2012) indicates that such plaques may have been used as serving platters at social gatherings, or possibly as chopping boards for food.


  • Bibliography

    • Marzinzik 2013 110 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G41/dc25/sA

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1886

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


COMPASS Title: Whalebone plaque

COMPASS Title: Whalebone plaque

Image description



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Object reference number: MCS15482

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