Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    One half of a gold shoulder-clasp inlaid with garnet cloisonné and glass. A loop and chain is attached to the top of the clasp, which is fixed to a plain gold pin with an animal-head terminal in filigree. The pin passes through a hinge that connects this clasp with shoulder-clasp 1939,1010.4.a.

    The clasp is curved in section and consists of a rectangular plate with rounded end. The hinge runs along the straight end. The clasp has loops for attaching it to a garment underneath.

    The rectangular plate contains a central panel of fifteen cloisonné cells filled alternately with millefiori glass and garnets. These are interspersed with slightly larger plain garnet cells. The central panel is bordered on each side with designs of interlacing beasts, their bodies formed of inlaid garnets and their eyes of blue glass.

    The rounded end contains a design of two interlinked boars, executed in garnet cloisonné. Their heads are down, and their curved backs from the rounded end of the clasp. Their hip-joints are inlaid with millefiori glass. The spaces between their legs are filled with a gold filigree design of snake-like creatures. The cells behind the boars’ back legs are lidded with gold foil.

    The garnet cells are underlaid with stamped gold foil.


  • School/style

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • late 6thC-early 7thC (c. AD 560/70-610)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 12.7 centimetres (incl 4a)
    • Width: 5.4 centimetres
    • Length: 5.1 centimetres (chain)
    • Length: 5.7 centimetres (pin)
    • Weight: 95.96 grammes (excluding 4a)
    • Thickness: 0.5 centimetres
  • Curator's comments


    King, M., 2014. Besette swinlicum: Sources for the Iconography of the Sutton Hoo Shoulder-clasps. In: Owen-Crocker, G. R. and Schneider, B. W. (eds.), The Anglo_Saxons: The World Through Their Eyes. Oxford: Archaeopress. BAR British Series 595, pp. 89–102

    Adams, N., 2010. Rethinking the Sutton Hoo Shoulder Clasps and Armour. In: Entwistle, C. and Adams, N. (eds.), Intelligible Beauty: Recent Research on Byzantine Jewellery. London: British Museum Press, pp. 83–112


  • Bibliography

    • Tait 1976 197 bibliographic details
    • Tait 1986a 242 bibliographic details
    • Speake 1980 3 bibliographic details
    • Marzinzik 2013 46 bibliographic details
    • Bruce-Mitford 1978 Fig.386 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G41/dc1/sG

  • Exhibition history

    2003 22 Mar-12 Oct, Woodbridge, Sutton Hoo Exhibition Centre, Far Fetched Treasures
    2008 15 Mar-2 Nov, Woodbridge, Suffolk, Sutton Hoo Visitor Centre, East Anglia: The Life and Death of a Kingdom
    1980 10 Mar-30 Sep, Sweden, Stockholm, Statens Historika Museum, The Vikings are Here

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1939

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: MCS15706

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