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LOT 0550

Sold for (Inc. bp): £5,580

1" (3.44 grams, 24mm).

A triangular gold pendant with slightly convex edges and integral cast loop; the outer edges notched; the central keyed field with reserved beast in Trewhiddle Style with returned twisted tail; trefoil motifs above the head and the four-toed foot, the foreleg folded beneath the chest.

Property of an East Sussex gentleman; acquired in the 1980s by his mother as part of a jewellery collection; by descent 2012.

See Jones, W. Finger-Ring Lore, London, 1898; Webster, L. & Backhouse, J. The Making of England. Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900, London, 1991; Wilson, D.M. Catalogue of Antiquities of the Later Saxon Period, Volume I: Anglo-Saxon Metalwork 700-1100 in the British Museum, London, 1964.

Supplied with a positive X-Ray Fluorescence analysis certificate.

Gold items executed in Trewhiddle Style are rare: the majority of the fine metalwork from 9th century England was executed in silver with the designs reserved against a niello field. Among the better known gold examples are the finger ring from Sussex from the Waterton collection (Jones p.60), now in the British Museum, the Æthelswith ring from Aberford, West Yorkshire (Webster and Backhouse, item 244), the Athelwulf ring from Laverstock, Wiltshire (Webster and Backhouse, item 243) and the smaller example from Selkirk, Scotland (Webster & Backhouse, item 203). The latter three feature the niello background most closely associated with Trewhiddle Style as well as the characteristic contorted beast and tendrils confined within a triangular field.The profile beast resembles those in triangular panels on the silver mounts in the Trewhiddle Hoard, from which the style is named (Wilson, item 94, fig.40), featuring a rounded ear, tapering snout, v-shaped mouth, muscular body with parallel curved notches to the shoulder and hip. Many beasts in this style featured a pecked surface (Wilson, no. 97, 98) but others are smooth (Wilson, item 96). The notched border adds glitter to the piece, and recalls the ribbed framing bands on the Fuller Brooch (Wilson, item 153) which contrast with the smooth surfaces of the figures. The field on this pendant is roughened to provide a key for the addition of niello although no trace of this substance remains at present.