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Home > Auctions > 25th February 2016 > Saxon Gold Aestel Pointer with Filigree Cross

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LOT 0869

Estimate
GBP (£) 6,000 - 8,000
EUR (€) 7,100 - 9,470
USD ($) 7,660 - 10,210

SAXON GOLD AESTEL POINTER WITH FILIGREE CROSS
8TH-9TH CENTURY AD
1 3/4" (16 grams, 43mm).

A piriform gold Æstel with D-section domed upper plate, beaded wire borders, applied beaded wire bands to the neck, central lobed cross with roundel and scrolls; holes to the neck to secure an organic rod.

PROVENANCE:
Property of a Middlesex gentleman; acquired on the German art market 1989. Supplied with a positive X-Ray Fluorescence metal analysis certificate.

PUBLISHED:
Accompanied by an Art Loss Register certificate.

LITERATURE:
Cf. Webster, L. & Backhouse, J. The Making of England. Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900, London, 1991, items 258, 259, 260.

FOOTNOTES:
Æstel is the Old English name for a pointer used in reading, conventionally a wooden or ivory rod with a durable metal fitting. King Alfred of Wessex (Alfred the Great) sent an æstel to each of the bishops of his kingdom to accompany a copy of the newly-translated text of Pope Gregory I's Regula Pastoralis. The Alfred Jewel may have been made as a high-status version of the same object type. The disc with petals design features on the nativity scene of the later 8th-early 9th century Franks Casket above the three magi.

CONDITION