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03.12.2021

Seax

School/style:

Trewhiddle style

Cultures/periods:

Late Anglo-Saxon

Production date:

10thC(early)

Found/Acquired: 

Europe: British Isles: England: Kent: Sittingbourne and Milton: Sittingbourne: Daily Chronicle Paper Mills

Materials:

iron; silver; copper; copper alloy; niello

Iron knife, with a straight cutting edge and a sharp-edged back, the tip offset relative to the blade. There were eight decorative panels on one side of the blade, but two of them are missing. They are separated from each other by short vertical strips of twisted silver and copper wire. The panels are inlaid with silver and niello, except for one inlaid with brass. The triangular panel at the angle of the back depicts a winged creature whose wing ends in an acanthus leaf and whose body is decorated with double notches. Nearby is an oblong panel with a symmetrical acanthus plant. The panels to its right are arranged in two rows of three narrow rectangular fields, but only one is preserved in the upper row. It contains an undulating foliate scroll. The first panel of the second row is inscribed in Old English, the second is inlaid with brass. The last field is very worn and contains an S-shaped animal with its body pierced by a strand. The panels are over a long narrow band with suspended silver triangles that runs down the center of the blade. It consists of alternating rectangular panels of silver and brass edged with twisted copper and silver wire. The other side of the blade has a similar middle band, but here the rectangular panels are arranged much more regularly, creating a checkered pattern effect. A second band, also edged with twisted polychrome wire, runs along the back of the blade. It is connected to the one below by two short sections of twisted silver and copper wire. The panel thus created contains another Old English inscription made in silver wire letters facing the back of the blade. The back of the blade was also inlaid with twisted silver and copper wire, alternating silver and brass rectangular panels and a triangular silver and copper wire terminal at the angle of the blade. Most of these decorations are now missing.

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