Museum sells Golden Phallus replica pendants in gift shop

Posted By Kristen Butler,   |   May 29, 2013 at 4:46 PM
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A penis-shaped gold pendant was discovered in 2011 by Kevin Hillier and his metal detector on a farmer’s field in Norfolk, England.

Known as the Hillington Phallus, the 2.5 centimeter gold member was valued at $1,200 by the British Museum -- a finder's fee split between Hillier and the landowner, according to Lynn News.

Local museums have first claim on such antiquities and the King's Lynn Museum in Norfolk raised the money to purchase the artifact. After going on display in January of last year, the exhibit became a local sensation.

When considering souvenirs inspired by local objects to sell in its gift shop, the museum decided to sell replicas of the Hillington Phallus. The museum commissioned archaeological illustrator Sue Heaser to create the souvenirs.

The original Hillington Phallus is a small pendant formed out of a single sheet of gold soldered together along the length. It has an aperture at the ends and two globes of gold soldered to each side of the base. There is a connected loop, suggesting the phallus was worn as a pendant.

The piece is so delicate Heaser couldn't make a direct mold, and instead made detailed measurements, drawings and photographs. The replicas will not be made from real gold, however, and will be a solid piece rather than a hollow sheet with side seams.

Heaser made a silicon model of the phallus for a mold, and will use metal clay to make the replicas. "This is the most extraordinary thing I have ever done," she said. “I love working with ancient jewellery and the craftsmanship involved here is amazing.”

The silver and bronze replica phalluses will be available in the gift shop within the next few months.

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