Anglo-Saxon 'Openwork' Girdle Hanger 019111

Anglo-Saxon 'Openwork' Girdle Hanger 019111
Anglo-Saxon 'Openwork' Girdle Hanger
Copper-alloy, 17.20 grams, 76.93 mm. 5th-6th century AD. A classic Anglian form of girdle hanger comprising a broad median bar, about 2mm thick, ending in a rectangular plate with two rectangular voids and vertical extensions on the upper corners. C-shaped punched decorations are present in a double-line on the bars except the narrower upper struts. Girdle hangers were a form of key, worn prominently by Anglian women as a symbol of their responsibility for the locks in the household. The girdle hanger was recovered from the Catterick area (Yorkshire) which is usually identified as the site of the late 6th or early 7th century battle of Catraeth immortalized in the Old Welsh poem Y Gododdin in which a troop of three hundred horsemen from the fortress of Din Eidyn attacked an unnamed but overwhelming enemy force and was wiped out. The case has been made for the British horsemen having set off from the area of modern Edinburgh to attack an Anglian (English) stronghold, although the poem does not mention either the location of the battle or the name of the enemy. Reference: cf. examples from Barrington (Cambridgeshire) and Ixworth (Suffolk) in MacGregor, A. & Bolick, E. A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals), BAR British Series 230, 1993, p.231 and discussion of the poem in Cessford, C. Where are the Anglo-Saxons in the Gododdin poem? in Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History, vol. 8, Oxford, 1995. Very fine condition. Provenance: found Catterick, England.
 
This item was accompanied by an illustrated Certificate of Authenticity.

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