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Updated: 14 April 2015
Iron shield-grip, used in reconstruction of shield. Centre portion is flanged and extends from each end in an ornamental gilt copper alloy strip, terminating in birds' heads with garnet eyes. Two plain hemispherical gold bosses with beaded wire collars are attached to these strips and riveted through the back of the shield. The centre piece of each flanking copper alloy strip is decorated with animal interlace in filigree style and backed with iron. The birds' heads are on curved arms which spring out on either side of the central strip, and have stamped triangular decoration. Attached to each of the gilt copper alloy strips are dragon head terminals, with two arms branching around with garnets at the hip-joints; the head itself has two cabochon garnet eyes and a long snout with rounded end. Also a small strip of leather from the back of the dragon, pierced for rivets in places, made from a series of pieces with some wood and ? textile adhering; and one box of wooden fragments from the shield-grip.
- early 7thC
- Excavated/Findspot: Sutton Hoo, Ship-burial Mound: 1
- (Europe,United Kingdom,England,Suffolk,Sutton (parish),Sutton Hoo)
- Length: 99 millimetres (grip)
- Width: 89 millimetres
- Length: 165 millimetres (leather strip)
- Width: 38 millimetres
Niello analysed, cf.
W. A. Oddy, M. Bimson and S. La Niece , The Composition of Niello Decoration on Gold, Silver and Bronze in the Antique and Mediaeval Periods. In: Studies in Conservation, Vol. 28, No. 1 (Feb., 1983), pp. 29-35.
Britain, Europe and Prehistory
Iron shield-grip, used in reconstruction of shield. Centre portion is flanged and extends from each end in an ornamental gilt-bronze strip, terminating in bird's heads with garnet eyes. Two plain hemispherical gold bosses with beaded rope collars are attached to these strips and riveted through back of shield. The centre piece of each flanking bronze strip is decorated with animal interlace in filigree style and backed with iron. The bird's heads are on curved arms which spring out on either side of the central strip and have stamped triangular decoration. Attached to each of the gilt bronze strips are dragon's head terminals, with two arms branching around with garnets at the hip-joints, and the head itself having two garnet eyes en cabochon, and a long snout with rounded end. Leather, small strip of backing from shield-grip dragon, made of a series of pieces with some wood & ? textile adhering; pierced for rivets in places. Wooden fragments from shield-grip, boxed together.
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Object reference number: MCS16303
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