Anglo-Saxon 'Garnet Cloison' Sword Pyramid 016671

Anglo-Saxon 'Garnet Cloison' Sword Pyramid 016671
Rare Anglo-Saxon 'Garnet Cloison' Sword Pyramid
Copper-alloy, garnet, gold, 3.30 grams, 14.62 mm. 6th-7th century AD. Sword pyramids were a short-lived fashion in slider-mounts, used for suspending high-class scabbards from the belt. The present example is contructed as four conjoined rhomboids with a flat rectangular top. Each face originally featured a sub-triangular setting in each lower corner and a quadrangular setting along the upper edge; two quadrangular arcs pass from the sides to the lower edge, framing a triangular void. The settings were originally filled with garnets, apart from the central triangle which featured blue glass. The apex was also filled with blue glass (still present). The garnet settings were backed with gold foil with a stamped design to add glitter to the jewels. The pyramid is cast hollow and the suspension/slider bar on the reverse is complete. While sword pyramids are not uncommon, examples with foil-backed garnets are rare and indicate that the owner was of very high status. This example is of particular interest in that the missing garnets reveal the backing foils, the construction of the cells and remains of the calcified adhesive. Reference: MacGregor, A. & Bolick, E. A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals), BAR British Series 230, 1993, pp.216 item 36.26. Some components absent but overall in very fine condition. Provenance: found Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England.
This item was accompanied by an illustrated Certificate of Authenticity.

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