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Late Medieval; early 15th century
On Display: Museum of London: Medieval London: Daily Life and the Thames: Fashion
Belt, leather, incomplete; originally covered with silk fabric (now largely lost), and set with copper alloy (brass) mounts. Down the centre is a row of composite orsette-shaped mounts, 41 surviving, each consisting of a central domed stud of reddish alloy, low in zinc, which was originally silvered, on a disc of yellower (high zinc) brass with an embossed corded border; down each edge is a row of smaller embossed mounts , of quincunx form held by a central pin, 100 in all surviving; at one end is a rectangular plate with a central hole and incised decoration. This belt, perhaps a sword belt, is unique among London finds both for the traces of silk covering - a technique not otherwise recorded - and for the number of mounts surviving in situ. Small belt studs and mounts are common as foreshore and excavation finds - for composite mounts like the central row here see a group from the Thames foreshore at London Bridge, Museum of London Acc No 85.13/7; this belt illustrates why they are so plentiful. Girdles or belts were worn round the waist or hips, the length, decoration and position varying according to fashion.
L (large piece) 645 mm; L (small piece) 123 mm; W 32 mm
leather; silk; copper alloy
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