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horse bridle-bit

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    a. Iron bit: each end of the bit runs free on an iron ring between two fixed elements which form the bit-ring cheekpieces. Rising from each ring is a thin iron rod which, at the top, turns through 90° to develop into a small roundel. This carries a gilt panel riveted in position and decorated with balanced interlace. On the opposing side of the ring is a fixed pendant axe-shaped fitting carrying a gilded panel that is also riveted into position. This is decorated with Style II zoomorphic interlace. Running free between these two elements and opposite the bit are two rectangular strap fixings, one holding the end of the cheek-strap, the other securing the end of the rein. The strap fixings are made from a single rod of iron with ends flattened into rectangular plates. The central section, left circular, is bent over so that the plates lie parallel to each other. They are clenched by two rivets, each with a heavily gilded head, and are made en suite with other fittings from the bridle.The inner plate of each cheek-piece fixing is extended to the roundel pair 25b and c. Mineralised leather remains associated with the strap-fixings and shows that the cheek-pieces and reins were made from a double thickness of folded leather, stitched edge to edge.
    b. Pair of strap fixings attaching the bridle cheekpiece and the rein to the ring on the right side of the bit. Reattached.
    c. Rectangular plates of one of the strap holders attached to the rein ring on the right side of the bit. Reattached
    d. Rectangular plates of the strap fixing attached to the rein ring on the left side of the bit . Reattached


  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 242 millimetres
  • Bibliography

    • Carver 2005 p.246.21a-d bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history


    2002 12 Mar-present, Suffolk, Sutton Hoo Visitor Centre, 'Burial Ground of the Kings', LT Loan.

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1982-1992. Excavation funded by The British Museum and the Society of Antiquaries, London.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • 48/8173
    • 48/8174
    • 48/8181
    • 48/8183
    • 48/8200
    • 48/8201


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Object reference number: MCS24906

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