Antler stamp for pottery
Late Saxon, about AD 875-1075
Found during excavations by Winchester Museums Service Archaeology Section at Sussex Street, Winchester in 1979
This stamp would have been made by the potter who intended to use it, and has been designed to hold steady on a work surface whilst thumb pressure is applied in order to mark the pot. Its presence in Winchester is mysterious, as there were no potting clays available locally, the nearest potential source being about a mile to the south. Even more intriguingly, one William the potter is recorded as holding property outside the Westgate, and therefore probably in what is now Sussex Street, in AD 1110- a little later in date than the stamp. As a wealthy man, though, he is more likely to have been involved in the manufacture of much more prestigious and expensive metal vessels. Further, no pottery with stamps to match was found on the Sussex Street excavations.
The object is made from a piece cut from a roe deer antler at the top of the beam. The end of the upper tine has been cut off and the cut face trimmed to form a stamp of a positive upright cross with a diagonal cross which finishes in the corners of the upright arms.