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For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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sword-harness / buckle

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1991,0411.2858

  • Description

    Copper alloy, garnet, glass, ivory, gold and leather buckle: triangular shield-on-tongue buckle from sword belt loop is flattened oval with angular cross-section. Hinge concealed by shield shaped panel, filled with four garnets enclosing central setting of blue glass. Thin backplate secured by three rivets, each concealed on face of buckle by flattened cabochon garnets within ivory collar. The body of the buckle is decorated with a remarkable series of motifs: on the shoulders matched, but irregularly shaped, garnets flank the circular garnets as if they are petals; below, forming a central motif, are ten garnets set in the form of a butterfly/moth with head, thorax and two pairs of wings carefully defined. Below this are eight garnets set in pairs in a wing-like design and these rest against a pair of garnets that fill the bottom of the field. The rather large circular toe of the buckle contains a third plate garnet, larger than the upper pair and surrounded by a substantial collar of ivory. The small fields between the motifs are carefully filled with either blue glass or ivory and are used to point up the three motifs. There are two fragments of leather or textile, one with a rivet hole, associated with the buckle.

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  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 61 millimetres
  • Bibliography

    • Carver 2005 p.244.6 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

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

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1991

  • Acquisition notes

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

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1991,0411.2858

  • Additional IDs

    • 48/8196
Pattern welded sword blade with pommel, guards and grip of horn. Box with three small fragments of wood or leather.

Pattern welded sword blade with pommel, guards and grip of horn. Box with three small fragments of wood or leather.

Image description

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Object reference number: MCS24893

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