Sir John Evans Centenary Project - image background is marbled paper from one of John Evans's books John Evans Numismatic Society Medal 1899

Sir John Evans's collections of artefacts - British

Anglo-Saxon Ixworth Cross

gold and garnet cross from Ixworth
Gold and garnet cross from Ixworth, Suffolk (AN1909.453)

This jewelled pendant made of gold was originally entirely covered by garnets backed with hatched foils.

The precise execution and symmetry of the compartments of the cloisonné work is highly sophisticated. That the design has been thought through quite carefully is also apparent from the change of colour tone of the garnets, which tend to be darker towards the centre. The small size of the cells may indicate reuse of old garnets, an established seventh-century practice in Anglo-Saxon jewellery.

The pendant was found at Ixworth, Suffolk in 1856. It was acquired by Joseph Warren and then in 1866, by Sir John Evans, who purchased a substantial portion of Warren's collection. It was presented to the Ashmolean by Sir Arthur Evans in 1909.


Further References / Links:

R. Bruce-Mitford, Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology. Sutton Hoo and other Discoveries (London, 1974) pp31-2, p281, p285, pp287-90, p295, pl. 5a.

R. Jessup, Anglo-Saxon Jewellery (Princes Risborough, 1974) p. 54, pl. 3, 1.

T.D. Kendrick, St. Cuthbert's pectoral cross, and the Wilton and Ixworth Crosses, Antiquaries Journal 17 (1937), pp. 286-7, 290-2, pl. lxxvii.

T.D. Kendrick, Anglo-Saxon Art (London, 1938) p. 172, pl. xxxiv, 4.

E.T. Leeds, Early Anglo-Saxon Art and Archaeology (Oxford, 1936) pl. xxx, e.

A. MacGregor and E. Bolick, Ashmolean Museum: Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non- Ferrous Metals), BAR British Series 230 (Oxford, 1993) no. 24.09.

C. Roach Smith, Collectanea Antiqua. Etchings and Notices of Ancient Remains (London, 1852-80) IV, pp. 162-4, pl. xxxvii, 1.

C. Roach Smith, Saxon remains found near Ixworth, Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology 3, (1863) pp. 296-8

L. Webster and J. Backhouse, The Making of England. Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture, AD 600-900, Exhibition Catalogue, British Museum (London, 1991) pp. 26-7.

The Ashmolean Museum's Anglo-Saxon Discovery website has further details of this cross and other similar objects.