Newly acquired ancient canine

A small object that will appeal particularly to dog lovers has gone on display in the City Museum, Winchester. This medieval find from the 15th century is a copper-alloy vessel spout in the form of a dog's head. When in use water or wine would have poured out of the dog's mouth. The spout is incomplete, possibly miscast when it was made, which might explain why it was originally discarded.

The spout was discovered in Wickham parish by Mr Chris Morris when out metal detecting. He reported the find to the Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Hampshire based at Winchester Museums, and recently Mr Morris donated the object to Winchester City Council's Museums Service.

Robin Iles, the museums officer now responsible for the curation of the spout, said, "No doubt dogs in the Middle Ages had to work hard for their keep, guarding property, hunting, or herding sheep, but they were also the valued companions of our medieval ancestors, and it is easy to see why this object might have appealed to a medieval dog lover."

Patricia Stallard, the City Council's Portfolio holder for Culture, Heritage and Sport added, "Small items like these all help us to build up a picture of the lives of people in the Winchester District of the past, and we are grateful to Mr Morris for donating this spout to the museum, where it can be seen and enjoyed by people today and in the future."

You can see the spout on display in the new accessions display case in the City Museum in the Square, which also contains other items of local interest recently added to the City Council's collections.

Admission to the museum is free. Summer opening times are Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm, Sunday noon to 5pm. For further information log on to , tel 01962 848 269 or email