Perhaps the Ainu are a living link between present-day civilization and the life pictured in ancient Chinese documents.
It looks as though the maker's mark is a small hammer inside a shield, you can just see it on the bottom right hand side of the picture.
I currently believe this item to be a shoe buckle from around 1790-1800.
Struck under the Dauphin, later Charles VII 1422 - 1461.
Thanks to The Portable Antiquities Scheme and FLO Ros Tyrrell for the identification.
Initially known as The Beloved he earned his nickname The Mad after fits of strange behaviour which first occurred in 1392 and continued throughout his adult life.
A very fragile late medieval French jetton I found a few years ago. The shape of the bells and the locations of their remains indicate that they may have entered the Japanese islands with tribes migrating from northern Asia.That Japan gradually came to be dominated by one group called the bell tree, an instrument characteristic of Shintō dances only.The surviving shamanism of the Ainu has equivalent forms in early Shintō and in a few surviving Japanese folk “mountain women” traditions.However, the guttural vocal style and the frequent polyphonic textures of modern Ainu music today seem culturally to point north rather than south or west.Creativity covers many different disciplines and it is fitting in Wiltshire that we consider items with a link to our agricultural heritage.