Pewter bird trough: 15th century
© Museum of London
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Pewter bird trough. This is a small and misshapen pewter pot. Its front is decorated with an eagle and lozenges. It was found at Upper Thames Street, London and it contained six tiny bone dice. Three of these small bone dice have the numbers one to three repeated so that they always fall on low numbers; three of them have only numbers four to six. These were known as low or high 'despatchers'. Gambling with dice was very popular in London in the 1500s, and crooked dice were used to fool gullible punters. Loaded dice were called 'fulhams' - presumably the Thames-side village of Fulham was notorious as the haunt of dice-sharpers.
1401 AD - 1500 AD