Base of turned black jet bowl: 14th century
© Museum of London
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Base of a turned black bowl made from jet. The sides are broken. This bowl was brought to London from the Whitby area of Yorkshire. Despite its everyday form, the bowl was regarded as special in some way. It would have been an expensive item as lumps of jet this size are relatively rare. This unique bowl is the only medieval jet vessel found so far. Jet was believed to have special powers and was particularly associated with childbirth. Liquid drunk from the bowl was thought to ease labour pains and would have been very welcome in an age before modern anaesthetics.
1301 AD - 1400 AD