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Home > Auctions > 30th October 2013 > Anglo-Saxon Bronze Decorated Bucket

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LOT 1082

Sold for (Inc. bp): £1,694

8 1/2" (410 grams, 22cm with handle).

A re-mounted set of bronze bucket components comprising: three horizontal flat-section hoops; four vertical bands attached with rivets; a u-shaped channel for the rim held in place with six swagged strips; four plaques attached to the upper band and rim, each with split lower end and recurved bars ending in bird-heads, rows of annular punchmarks to the outer edges, two extending above rim-height to form the hinge-points for a double-thickness handle with similar punched decoration; mounted on a stave-built wooden reproduction bucket.

Excavated from an Anglo-Saxon cemetary in Cambridgeshire, UK, in the late 19th century.

Cf. Hammond, B. British Artefacts. vol.1 - Early Anglo-Saxon, item 1.5.3-a; Cook, J. Early Anglo-Saxon Buckets: A Corpus of Copper Alloy and Iron-bound, Stave-built Vessels (Oxford University School of Archaeology Monograph); Pollington, S., Kerr, L. & Hammond, B. Wayland's Work - Anglo-Saxon Art, Myth & Material Culture from the 4th to 7th century AD, p.280 and plate 57 b, c; Pollington, S. The Mead Hall: The Feasting Tradition in Anglo-Saxon England.

Bronze fittings of this type are found enclosing stave-built vessels in Anglo-Saxon graves, typically those of high-status females with rich costume accessories. The wood used for the body of the vessel was often yew. The 'buckets' form part of the assemblage of tableware for serving strong drink, which was one of the formal or ritual duties of the matriarch in the 'meadhall' social structure.