Metal detecting find of a knife handle

Merovingian knife handle

Presumably a bronze Merovingian knife handle.
Date: early middle ages.

knife handles knife handle

This remarkable Roman clasp knife handle was found at Gloucester Docks. The handle is made from red deer antler and is carved in the form of a seated horse. The blade and pivoting mechanism of the knife, which would almost certainly have been of iron, are missing but a groove along the back of the handle shows where the blade would have rested when folded. The horse is carved with a prominent mane, small forelegs, a stubby docked tail and hind legs crossed at the base. The knife is believed to date from the late 2nd or early 3rd centuries AD and was probably produced in the Rhineland. Few such elaborately carved knife handles are known from Britain, although the type is well represented on the continent where subjects include male and female busts, deities, gladiators and wrestlers. The Gloucester knife handle appears to be the only example of its class to depict a horse.