Hiberno-Saxon 'Zoomorphic' Scabbard Chape 023669

Hiberno-Saxon 'Zoomorphic' Scabbard Chape 023669
Hiberno-Saxon 'Zoomorphic' Scabbard Chape
Copper-alloy, 29.28 grams, 38.49 mm. Circa 7th-9th century AD. A cast c-shaped copper-alloy facing mount with hollow underside. The lateral arms are each formed as a grotesque male head with elliptical eyes and a band across the nose. From each ovoid mouth issues a bilinear strap which develops into a bird with a ribbed tear-drop wing, and long neck curled around its leg, the head tucked in beneath the wing. The workmanship is substantial with well-defined raised outer borders reminiscent of 6th-7th century chip-carving; the bird's coiled neck and leg recalls elements of design on the Book of Kells, Book of Mullings and Lindisfarne Gospels. The male faces recall the figures on the Breac Maodhog Shrine from Drumlane, Ireland. References: Wallace, P.F. & O Floinn, R. Treasures of the National Museum of Ireland. Irish Antiquities, Dublin, 2002 p.254 and Webster, L. & Backhouse, J. The Making of England. Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900, London, 1991. Very fine condition. Provenance: from an old English collection.


This item is accompanied by an illustrated Certificate of Authenticity.

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