Anglo-Saxon Weapons & Associated Artefacts for sale

The bearing of weapons was the badge of ‘freeman’ status for Anglo-Saxon males – only men of this class were entitled to take part in official meetings and thus had access to the political process. The specific weapons of the freeman were the spear and shield, and it is this social status which is recorded in pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon male graves by the inclusion of these weapons among the grave-goods. The other main weapon was the seax from which the Saxons take their name: this was a single-edged knife which could range from 10cm to nearly 1 metre long in the blade. The seax could be a simple tool, a hunting knife or a beautiful , ornamented weapon. For wealthier individuals, the sword was the primary area of display, with many decorative fittings, gilding and surface decoration all common – but for the user, the sword’s blade was its most important feature and great care was taken by the smith to incorporate patterning in its construction which was both ornamentation and utilitarian, giving a combination of hardness and springiness. Sword-scabbards were constructed from wood and leather, often with metal fittings to protect the upper edges and the end (chape). Missile weapons include throwing-spears, arrows and axes. Helmets and mailcoats are extremely rare finds from the Anglo-Saxon period, with just four certain examples of the former (Benty Grange, Sutton Hoo Mound 1, Coppergate, Wollaston) and one of the latter (Sutton Hoo Mound 1). Because men relied on their weapons in the hazardous business of warfare, there was an aura of mystery – even magic – about them which expresses itself in symbolic designs.

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 'Pyramidal' Sword Pommel Cap 028144

Anglo-Saxon 'Pyramidal' Sword Pommel Cap
Bronze, 17.20 grams, 30.54 mm. 5th-6th century AD. A hollow cast bronze pyramidal sword pommel cap. Fine condition.
£110.00

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Anglo-Saxon 'Pyramidal' Sword Pommel Cap 028144
Saxon 'Epigraphic' Knife Bolster and Tang 024789

Rare Saxon 'Epigraphic' Knife Bolster and Tang
Silver and iron, 4.97 grams, 26.73 mm. Circa 11th century AD. A fragment of iron knife blade and tang encircled with a silver bolster. To the upper edge, the bolster has a slightly everted lip and 2.5mm border with hatched texture; to the lower edge there is a similar border 0.5mm wide and vertical strips to the corners. The four faces bear incuse text within rectangular panels: ':D/ORG/P/AX'; the lettering is typical of Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman coins of the later 11th century AD. Reference: cf. epigraphic finger ring from Lancashire in Smith, R.A. British Museum Guide to Anglo-Saxon Antiquities, reprinted Ipswich, 1993 fig.145. Very fine condition. Provenance: from an important London collection, acquired 1989 inventory no.89.282 / cat.573.
£850.00

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Saxon 'Epigraphic' Knife Bolster and Tang 024789
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.
£850.00

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Hiberno-Saxon 'Zoomorphic' Scabbard Chape 023669
Saxon 'Cocked Hat' Sword Pommel 009025

Saxon 'Cocked Hat' Sword Pommel Fragment
Silver, 2.17 grams, 27.97 mm. Circa 6th century AD. A fragment of a cast silver sword pommel cap of the classic 'cocked hat' profile. The pommel cap was placed over the end of the tang where this was beaten out over the upper guard. The triangular face features a single ring-and-dot motif and on the rear edge there is a circular rivet hole. On the curved side of the cap are two bilinear elliptical motifs. A very similar decorated pommel cap (with ring and dot and elliptical motifs on the upper faces) was found on a sword in Grave 21 at Petersfinger, Wiltshire, England alongside a spear, knife, axe and decorative belt buckle. Reference: Menghin, W. Das Schwert im Fruehen Mittelalter, Stuttgart, 1983, item 18. Fine condition, incomplete. Provenance: from an old Continental collection.
£90.00

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Saxon 'Cocked Hat' Sword Pommel 009025


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