We are about to start a little more progress on the Ballinaby shield as part of the #NWIBIshieldproject
in a week, so I thought I'd do a short post on making the shield handle. The original is a U shaped hollow handle, with domed terminals and a flange. Handles like this have been found in Ireland, and on Colonsay, and one in iron from the Balladoole burial on the Isle of Man, which also has another unusual insular boss type, which we also looked at earlier this year. There are subtle differences between some of them, but the domed terminals, with a staples through are a common feature.
On this particular example, I could see from the tool marks on the inside of the original was beaten from a piece of sheet, about 1-1.5mm thick, and I was fairly confident this was something I could replicate. @gearandgraith
seemed to have every faith in my ability, but after the initial beating, the lumpen mess that appeared seemed to shake that faith! However, all it took was a little more refined tapping and shaping (careful now Ted), and some eventual filing and polishing to neaten and smooth the whole thing out. Eventually we got pretty close to the original, certainly within mm accuracy, so it wasn't too bad for a first attempt! Hopefully these pics will give you some idea of our process! #earlymedieval #experimentalarchaeology #ireland #irishsea #vikingage #viking #hibernonorse