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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