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25.06.2021

Whetstone, from Sutton Hoo

A stone scepter or sharpening stone consisting of a four-sided bar of hard, fine-grained gray stone. Each end of the bar tapers to form a "neck" and finally ends in a carved toothed onion-shaped knob, originally painted red. Each knob is surrounded by a cage of ribbed strips of copper alloy. At one end (as the bottom), the cage consists of six strips and is attached to a bowl-shaped piece of copper alloy. At the other end (at the top) the cage consists of eight strips of copper alloy topped with an iron ring (see 1939,1010.205.b) on which is attached a deer of copper alloy (see 1939,1010.205.a). Directly beneath each handle are four human masks carved in relief, one on each of the four faces of the stone bar. Each mask is different from the other; three masks are clearly bearded, and five are either beardless or bearded with an open chin. The masks are roughly triangular in shape and end in curved oval tips. All facets of the stone are extremely smooth and show almost no traces of wear.

 

 

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