Anglo-Saxon Pins and Fasteners For Sale

Anglo-Saxon dress fasteners follow trends in contemporary costume, and are often quite closely datable. Wrist-clasps of several types are an early Anglian fashion which is found along the eastern seaboard from Northumberland to Kent; it derives from contemporary 5th c. artefacts found in Denmark and Norway. Wrist-claps sets may comprise two male (hookd) segments, two female segments and two gusset-plates which strengthen the cloth at the closure. Pins – made from copper-alloy, silver, gold and bone – are a perennial means of fastening layers of clothing to each other, as well as securing shawls and head-coverings. Hooked tags become common in the 8th c., mainly triangular or discoid in form with a ‘spike’ bent back to form the hook. Fasteners of all types must have been produced in quantity b Anglo-Saxon craftsmen, and they are a relatively abundant artefact type. We are pleased to be able to offer a selection of the better examples for sale through these pages.

Customers and site-visitors may have noticed that the Anglo-Saxon site pages have been revised. As part of our ongoing programme of improving the quality and reliability of our site, all of the ‘Saxon’ pages have been amended in the light of further detailed research. We aim to roll this out across the rest of the site in due course. Please check back for updates.

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Anglo-Saxon 'Tiermensch' Wrist Clasp 027535

Anglo-Saxon 'Tiermensch' Wrist Clasp
Gilt-bronze, 3.92 grams, 37.09 mm. 6th century AD. The majority of a chip carved openwork wrist-clasp with Style I Tiermensch detail with central mask. Fine. Provenance: found at a moot site, Stockbridge Down, Winchester, UK; recorded with Winchester Museum by the finder.
£95.00

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Anglo-Saxon 'Tiermensch' Wrist Clasp 027535
Anglo-Saxon 'Polyhedral Head' Dress Pin 023357

Anglo-Saxon 'Polyhedral Head' Dress Pin
Silver, 2.41 grams, 62.48 mm. Circa 6th-9th century AD. A cast silver hipped dress pin with round-section shaft and integrally cast polyhedral head. Reference: Webster, L. & Backhouse, J. The Making of England. Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900, London, 1991, p.98 item 69(m). Extremely fine condition. Provenance: from an old English collection formed in the 1970's.
£95.00

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Anglo-Saxon 'Polyhedral Head' Dress Pin 023357
Anglo-Saxon 'Discoid' Hooked Tag 018200

Anglo-Saxon 'Discoid' Hooked Tag
Silver, 0.66 grams, 21.04 mm. 8th century AD. Hooked tags were used to fasten a variety of openings on Anglo-Saxon costume, including leg-bindings, purses and cuffs. The present piece comprises a discoid plate with two pierced attachment points, developing into a round-section hook. The rounded form seen on this piece developed alongside the triangular type of tag. The use of silver and the lack of decoration suggest an early 8th century date for the piece. Reference: MacGregor, A. & Bolick, E. A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals), BAR British Series 230, 1993, p.190 item 32.5. Very fine condition. Provenance: from an old English collection formed before 1950.
£70.00

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Anglo-Saxon 'Discoid' Hooked Tag 018200
Anglo-Saxon 'Animal-Headed' Pin 011262

Excessively Rare Anglo-Saxon ‘Animal-Headed’ Pin
Silver-gilt, 1.89 grams, 66.47 mm. 8th century AD. A beautifully modelled Anglo-Saxon hipped dress pin used to fasten the outer garments of high-status females. Pins of this type were in vogue in the 8th century. The design of the gilded animal head terminal is derived from Insular Style manuscript illustrations such as those in the Lindisfarne Gospels. The eyes are tiny fragments of black glass. The shaft is silver, the bulb placed centrally, with a slight collar above and below to increase its purchase on the textile. A very similar pin is held by the British Museum (M&LA 1989,3-3,1) and published by Webster & Backhouse. Reference: Webster, L. & Backhouse, J. The Making of England. Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900, London, 1991, p.226 item 182. Published: Hammond, Brett. British Artefacts, volume 2 - Middle Saxon & Viking, Witham, 2010. Very fine condition. Provenance: ex Lord Mc Alpine collection. This antiquity is accompanied by an XRF metal test certificate from Oxford X-ray Fluorescence Ltd.
£1,950.00

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Anglo-Saxon 'Animal-Headed' Pin 011262
Anglo-Saxon 'Domed Head' Pin 011181

Anglo-Saxon 'Domed Head' Pin
Silver, 12.69 grams, 121.40 mm. Circa 6th-10th century AD. A clothes pin with a sturdy tapering shaft connected to a ‘poppy’ terminal surmounted by acollet containing (organic?) material. The median is encircled by a plain, D-section collar and the lower zone of the head extends to a fine band wrapped tightly around the upper end of the shaft. Reference: MacGregor, A. & Bolick, E. A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals), BAR British series 230, Oxford, 1993 item 31.2. Good very fine condition. Provenance: from an old English collection formed in the 1980's. This item is accompanied by an XRF ancient metal test certificate from Oxford X-ray Fluorescence Ltd.
£650.00

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Anglo-Saxon 'Domed Head' Pin 011181
Anglo-Saxon ‘Zoomorphic Head’ Hipped Pin 011339

Anglo-Saxon ‘Zoomorphic Head’ Hipped Pin
Silver, 2.76 grams, 65.90 mm. 7th-8th century. The standard type of garment- and hair-fastener from Middle Anglo-Saxon times is the ‘hipped’ pin with a bulbous thickened section towards the point. This example features a beautifully modelled animal head formed with two lateral ribs for the ears, roundels on the cusp of the upper edges for eyes and two (drilled?) indentations beneath for nostrils. The mouth is indicated by lateral slashes. A small collar strengthens the point where the head is attached to the shaft. The design of the animal’s head is reminiscent of 7th-8th century Insular Art, for example the Lindisfarne Gospels. Reference: Webster, L. & Backhouse, J. The Making of England. Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900, London, 1991, p.97 item 69(g). Published: Hammond, Brett. British Artefacts, volume 2 - Middle Saxon & Viking, Witham, 2010. Extremely fine condition. This antiquity is accompanied by an XRF metal test certificate from Oxford X-ray Fluorescence Ltd.
£1,150.00

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Anglo-Saxon ‘Zoomorphic Head’ Hipped Pin 011339
Anglo-Saxon 'Opposed C-Scroll' Hooked Tag 014412

Rare Anglo-Saxon 'Hidden Face' Hooked Tag
Silver, 1.11 grams, 23.45 mm. 8th century AD. The plate is decorated with opposed c-scroll volutes outlined with niello inlay. Two piercings close to the outer edge form the attachment points. The design as a whole forms a stylized male face with curly moustache. The hook is complete. Reference: Webster, L & Backhouse, J. The Making of England. Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900, London, 1991, p.236 fig.199. Published: Hammond, Brett. British Artefacts, volume 2 - Middle Saxon & Viking, Witham, 2010. Extremely fine condition. Property of a gentleman, believed to have been found in Hertfordshire in the early 1990's.
£175.00

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Anglo-Saxon 'Opposed C-Scroll' Hooked Tag 014412
Anglo-Saxon 'Sub-Rectangular' Hooked Tag 014450

Anglo-Saxon 'Sub-Rectangular' Hooked Tag
Silver, 0.64 grams, 18.77 mm. 8th century AD. The plate is decorated with four sub-triangular elements which connect with a sub-rectangular internal ring. A tongue-shaped projection extends towards the hook, which is complete. Reference: MacGregor, A. & Bolick, E. A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals) BAR British Series 230, 1993, p.190 item 32.5. Published: Hammond, Brett. British Artefacts, volume 2 - Middle Saxon & Viking, Witham, 2010. Very fine condition. Property of a gentleman, believed to have been found in Hertfordshire in the early 1990's.

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Anglo-Saxon 'Sub-Rectangular' Hooked Tag 014450


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