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Home > Auctions > 24th May 2022 > 'The Kettlewell with Starbotton 1' Anglo-Saxon T-Shaped Axehead

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LOT 0343

GBP (£) 400 - 600
EUR (€) 470 - 700
USD ($) 500 - 750

Sold for (Inc. bp): £260



An iron axehead with a T-shaped profile comprising a rectangular-section shaft, blade with sub-rectangular plan and slightly convex cutting edge, an oval-shaped socket flanked by circular plates and a rectangular butt; mounted on a custom-made stand. 7 3/4 in. (1.55 kg total, axe: 19.5 cm long). Very fine condition, professionally cleaned, conserved and restored. [No Reserve]

Found whilst searching with a metal detector in Kettlewell with Starbotton, North Yorkshire, UK.
Recorded with the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) no.SWYOR-9334E2; accompanied by a copy of the PAS report.
Acquired TimeLine Auctions, 30 November to 3 December 2021, lot 1287.
Property of a London businessman.

See British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), reference SWYOR-9334E2 (this axe).

Cf. Portable Antiquities Scheme Database, id. PUBLIC-A06518, LANCUM-085845; SWYOR-93AC56, for similar; cf. Evans and Loveluck., Life and Economy at Early Medieval Flixborough AD 600-1000 Vol.2, Oxbow, 2009, nos.2456, pp.257 and 264.

Iron axes of the Early Medieval (Anglo-Saxon) period are scarce finds in the United Kingdom, especially well-preserved examples. With the arrival of the Vikings, mostly from Denmark, in York (named by them as Jorvik; previously Eboracum in the Roman period and Eoforwic to the Anglo-Saxons) from the 9th century A.D., the local Anglo-Saxon inhabitants of southern Northumbria were pushed back or absorbed into the Viking culture, as the Viking influence spread across what is now northern England. Jorvik became a centre for Viking attempts to occupy Mercia, then ruled by Alfred the Great. At this time, England was divided into several Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, including Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria, East Anglia and Kent (by then, as part of Wessex). The Saxon kingdoms were eventually united under Aethelstan with his conquest of York in 927 A.D.; ironically, with the accession in 1016 of Cnut, the Kingdom of England was then ruled by a Dane. Cnut could be said to have succeeded where the earlier Viking incursions at York and East Anglia had failed.