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LOT 0876

Sold for (Inc. bp): £12,100

4" (71 grams, 10.5cm).

A hexagonal cast openwork fitting pierced at each angle and centrally; the border formed as slightly curved panels of regular mono-linear Insular Style interlace with a wave pattern to the inner edge; the central openwork panel formed as a central collet and four quadrupeds, each with a narrow muzzle and leaf-shaped ear, the legs terminating in loops passing over and under the body and limbs; six plain radiating bars across the border, each with a hole; the narrow front and rear sides each with an outward slightly chamfered edge, lateral lugs with evidence of piercing to form a hinge or closure.

Ex Northern English collection; found Northumberland, UK, 1990s.

Cf. the regular interlace detail on the nasal of the Coppergate helmet in Webster, L. & Backhouse, J. The Making of England. Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900, London, 1991, item 47 and the hooked tag fragment from Scunthorpe (ibid., item 69(p)). Hammond, B. British Artefacts vol.2 - Middle Saxon & Viking, Witham, 2010, item 1.9-h, offers a close parallel with central panel of about half the size of the present piece, beast-head and raised border to the central square panel. The hexagonal form and rhythmic zoomorphic interlace design echo the corresponding features of the fitting, which is of probable Irish workmanship.