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Book marker of copper-alloy

Medieval, possibly late medieval.

Found in the 1970s during excavations of the archaeological section of the Winchester Museum on Victoria Road, Winchester, Hampshire.

The book marker, or page holder, is decorated with a perforated triangle characteristic of the late Middle Ages. Although it was found at a site outside the walls of Hyde Abbey, literacy was quite rare among the laity in medieval suburbia, and the book marker may have originally been used by the clergy of the abbey.

A copper alloy book marker in the form of tweezers with rectangular end plates and a peranal ring to slide around the rod. The connection point between the hanger loop and the rod is marked with small protrusions, perhaps to keep the ring from rising on the loop. The ring must have been pushed down the rod to secure the marker to the page. The end plates are decorated with lines of perforated triangles in geometric patterns. Each line is double, with the triangles facing outward. One side depicts a saltire, the other a small framed saltire.