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 Museum Explorer

Tools & technology in Anglo-Saxon England

Four claw beakers

Height: 30.100 cm (max.)

Four claw beakers

From: Taplow, Buckinghamshire
Date: early 7th century AD

These fine glass beakers are called 'claw' beakers because of the claw-like patterns on their sides. They were found in the princely grave at Taplow, along with other expensive objects. They show that the Anglo-Saxons were skilled glass-workers, although it is likely that they melted down and reused existing glass rather than made a lot of new items.

The two beakers on the right are a matching pair but the base has broken off the right-hand one. Can you see the slashes on the claws? The beakers on the left are taller and narrow. The clear parts are where pieces are missing.