Iron sword pommel with silver-gilt plating: late 8th century

Iron sword pommel with silver-gilt plating: late 8th century
3 0 c m
40cm
actual image size: 32cm x 21cm

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.

Image Details

Date
 
760 AD - 800 AD
Image Number
 
000216

© Museum of London

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