Four glass claw beakers

Anglo-Saxon, late 6th century AD
From the princely burial at Taplow, Buckinghamshire

The princely burial at Taplow contained a range of high-status possessions including these four claw beakers made from clear olive green glass. These were found in three separate areas of the burial. One lay beyond the feet of the dead man, near a drinking horn, a set of gaming pieces and a musical instrument; two were found in a container placed over the knees, together with two more drinking horns, and the fourth was found on the left of the body at shoulder level, close to a remarkable cast copper alloy pedestal bowl made in the eastern Mediterranean.

The two beakers on the right of the picture are a matching pair. They have a slashed trail on the claws and a simple slashed band separating the neck from the body. The neck is ornamented with a fine spiral trail that winds sixteen times around the neck. The body cone is also ornamented with a fine spiral trail of sixteen turns.

The two beakers on the left of the picture are taller and narrow with a fine 16-turn spiral trail on the neck separated from the body of the cone by a heavily slashed trail. One beaker also has additional whorls of glass placed centrally between the tops of the upper tier of claws. The bases are made from separate discs of glass (unlike the other pair).

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Four glass claw beakers

Two of the beakers required glass supports


More information


J. Stevens, 'On the remains found in an Anglo-Saxon tumulus at Taplow, Buckinghamshire', Journal of the British Archa-2, 40 (1884), pp. 61-71, plates 1, 11-12

V. I. Evison, Catalogue of Anglo-Saxon glass (London, British Museum Press, 2008)


Height: 30.100 cm (max.)

Museum number

Gift of Revd Charles T.E. Whateley

Britain, Europe and Prehistory


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