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Home > Auctions > 25th May 2021 > Anglo-Saxon Gilt Mount with Odin's Ravens

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LOT 1758

GBP (£) 200 - 300
EUR (€) 230 - 350
USD ($) 280 - 420

Opening Bid
£180 (EUR 207; USD 251) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0

Anglo-Saxon Gilt Mount with Odin's Ravens

6th-7th century AD

A flat gilt-bronze fitting in the form of a pair of addorsed bird-heads, springing from a central bar; the left head formed with a recurved beak developing into a flat cheek beneath a quarter-round eye socket; above and behind the socket a raised right-angled bracket; eye formed as a cloison setting for a garnet disc; banded decoration below the cheek, right-angled banded feature to the left and a pair of slightly curved vertical bars and a D-shaped block with internal bar; the right head present only as far as the cheek. 7.35 grams, 40mm (1 1/2"). Very fine condition. Rare.

Found Suffolk, UK.

Cf. West, S., A Corpus of Anglo-Saxon material from Suffolk, East Anglian Archaeology 84, Ipswich, 1998, items 10.7, 45.2 and Carver, M., Sutton Hoo. A Seventh Century Princely Burial Ground and its Context, London, 2005, items 29a, b.

The use of paired sets of bird-head motifs is quite common on Style II metalwork of the 6th-7th century, with many examples from the Sutton Hoo ship burial (Mound 1) and contemporary metalwork. Directly joined bird-heads are not common, although the feature does occur on a small-long brooch from Bloxhall (Suffolk) and the footplate of a cruciform brooch from Felixstowe, although in neither case does garnet cloisonné appear. On the reverse there is evidence for an attachment peg. The fitting may have formed part of a bridle pendant, such as those found in the horse-and-rider burial in Mound 17 at Sutton Hoo.