- Museum number
An iron sword lacking its tang and the lower part of its blade, with two lengths of iron scabbard corroded onto it. The piece is 543 mm long, with the blade about 530 mm and 32 mm wide at the highest point that it can be measured; it is unlikely to have been more than 35 mm wide at the top. It has a slight median ridge and a marked dent across part of the blade about 210 mm from the top, doubtless caused on discovery (when the central part of the scabbard was lost).
Two lengths of iron scabbard survive, both in poor condition, corroded and with considerable concretions only partly removed during conservation. The surface is well-preserved in places, and the scabbard has a neat, narrow midrib (the upper fragment is corroded and looks more like a median ridge) and narrow raised borders, with front-over-back overlaps. The upper length of scabbard is no more than 116 mm long, including the mouth that is obscured by concretion. It is 37 mm wide at the highest point that it can be measured. On the front of this fragment, on the right, are traces of decoration, worn but apparently chased, and probably the remains of a dragon pair. There is certainly a circle and a few other lines, including the base of the panel. The suspension loop survives, but much of it is obscured by concretion. The lower loop plate is an elongated pear-shape, at least 32 mm long, with a single rivet; the loop itself seems to be about 27 mm long and 14 mm wide.
The lower length of scabbard is 142 mm on the front and no more than 77 mm on the back, and is heavily concreted, especially on the back. Concretion may well obscure a chape frame, but there is no hint of a chape end.
Length: 530 millimetres (blade)
Length: 142 millimetres (lower scabbard fragment)
Length: 116 millimetres (upper scabbard fragment)
Length: 543 millimetres
Width: 37 millimetres (upper scabbard fragment)
Width: 32 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Stead 2006
Found in the bed of the River Thames at Battersea, at the same place as another scabbard with a dragon pair (1859,0122.1) and a Hallstatt D dagger (Jope 1961: 331, no. 6).
Simon Dove made every effort to recover all surviving traces of the scabbard decoration, and it is unlikely that more will be revealed.
- Not on display
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number