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Bronze pricker and stylus, Whithorn

Description:

Bronze pricker and stylus.

 

The stylus was used to write on wax tablets. It has a pointed end for writing in the wax, and a splayed end to smooth out the wax for new text, or to rub out mistakes.

It is decorated with two ballusters, one bleow the splayed end and the other at mid-shank. the shank is of circular section between the balusters, and is then octagonal as it tapers towards the point. It's dating is uncertain - it was found in an area of water-borne silts and may have been displaced from 9th century feature or from a later 12th century workshop.

 

The pricker was used to create small holes in parchment during the laying out of illuminated manuscripts. 

It is made of two hollow tapering bronze cones, soldered to a central heptagonal collar. Each face of the collar has a fine line of V-shaped incisions running diagonally across it. The tips of the hollow cones are filled with solid silver points, one of which is more worn than the other and may be broken. It is also probably 11th - 12th century in date.

Source:
The Whithorn Trust
Accession number:
BZ25.2 + BZ25.1
Digital Number:
WTAH122A


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