Anglo-Saxon 'Garnet Cloison' Sword Pyramid 020676

Anglo-Saxon 'Garnet Cloison' Sword Pyramid 020676
Anglo-Saxon 'Garnet Cloison' Sword Pyramid
Silver-gilt, 1.07 grams, 12.86 mm. 6th-7th century AD. A delicate and finely-made fitting, intended to slide on a strap, thong or textile band securing a sword. The piece is hollow-cast in silver, with a flat-section bar across the void. The sides are decorated with reserved V-shaped elements against the chip-carved gilded triangles. The apex is a flat cloison panel into which has been set a square garnet, with a 'chequered' foil behind to give additional reflectivity and sparkle. Sword pyramids are a short-lived fashion of the later 6th and early 7th century where they functioned as 'sliders' in the suspension of the sword, perhaps for the 'peace-bands' which later sources mention in connection with the rituals of military power. The small size is not uncommon on certain classes of sword pyramid, perhaps reflecting use on a narrow textile strap rather than a leather thong. The fracture offers an excellent opportunity to study the construction of these items. Reference: cf. the similarly decorated but larger example from Barham, Suffolk in West. S. A Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Finds From Suffolk, East Anglian Archaeology 84, Ipswich, 1998 p.121 fig.48. Very fine condition, crisp and almost complete. Provenance: from an old English collection formed in the 1960's.
 
This item was accompanied by an illustrated Certificate of Authenticity.

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