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London Museum Medieval Catalogue 1940

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:22 am
by Brother Ranulf
This is a 1993 reprint by Anglia Publishing (ISBN 1-897874-01-4) of the original 1940 Catalogue by J B Ward Perkins.

To say the book is dated would be stating the obvious - "it does not reflect latest thoughts on the dating or significance of medieval objects", to quote the appreciation at the start of the book, but it does bring together a reliable cross-section of things used every day in medieval England and includes numerous typologies of things such as stirrups, keys, shears, axes, spurs, horseshoes and so on. These provide a reasonable and useful idea of the development of each object over time and help to underline the fact that "medieval" does not mean one homogenous period when everything remained unchanged and static.

There are a number of errors in identifying objects, such as the bronze openwork pommels on page 23, which are no longer thought to be sword pommels, and the now-discredited arrowhead typology still being used (bizarrely) by the Royal Armouries and elsewhere.

Approached with caution, this is useful and helpful book.