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Home > Auctions > 3rd September 2014 > Anglo-Saxon Bronze Interlaced Dragons Pressblech Die

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LOT 0460

Estimate
GBP (£) 5,000 - 8,000
EUR (€) 5,920 - 9,470
USD ($) 6,380 - 10,210

ANGLO-SAXON BRONZE INTERLACED DRAGONS PRESSBLECH DIE
6TH-7TH CENTURY AD
3" (27 grams, 76mm).

A cast die formed with an elaborate serpent motif executed as a series of recurring loops with solid outlines and pelletted fill, a small eye-and-brow in the upper (narrower) corners, a loop in the lower left and a simple knot in the lower right, all within a pelletted border.

PROVENANCE:
From the collection of Lord McAlpine of West Green; found East Anglia, UK, in 1972.

LITERATURE:
Cf. the Icklingham dies in West, S. A Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Finds From Suffolk, East Anglian Archaeology 84, Ipswich, 1998, items 56.1,2.

FOOTNOTES:
The construction and design of the die is similar to the famous examples from Icklingham, Suffolk, but the present piece has a curved profile which suggests that it was for application to a curved surface, such as the shoulder of a drinking vessel, or possibly laid flat around the boss of a shield: pressed foil plates (Pressblechs) are found in these positions in the burial goods from Mound 1 at Sutton Hoo, with parallels elsewhere.

CONDITION