9th-11th century AD. A carved antler tine or horn tip with suspension hole, three incised 'runic' characters to one face. 10 grams, 65mm (2 1/2"). From the family collection of a London gentleman; formed in the late 1940s-1950s; thence by descent. The three characters maybe Scandinavian runes, or an Eastern European (Slavic) script. The first character is a straight line which has the value of 'i' in Roman letters. The second is a vertical stroke with two side-arms. The third is a vertical stroke with two upward-curved side arms, one on each side, with the value 'm' in 11th century and later texts. If an earlier date (e.g. 7th century) were assigned to the item, the second character would have the value 'a' and the third the value 'z'.