Iron sword pommel with silver-gilt plating: late 8th century
© Museum of London
Full image caption
Iron sword pommel with silver-gilt plating. It is decorated with a design of two interlaced snakes with their heads meeting at the top. The snakes have prominent ears and almond shaped eyes and the right hand snake is eating its own tail. The iron core of this 'cocked hat' shaped sword pommel is covered with silver-gilt sheets on the top and shoulders. It has D-shaped silver-gilt plates set on each side. The background is filled with black inlay. The sword was a weapon of high status throughout the Anglo-Saxon period, and this pommel comes from a particularly fine one. It was obviously well used – continued handling and polishing has worn away most of the gilding layer and, in places, through the silver to the iron beneath.
760 AD - 800 AD