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


Anglo-Saxon Sword Pommel

Country of Origin: Britain

Description: Late Anglo-Saxon sword pommel with an elegant design of interlacing snakes and grapes on a leafless vine in gold filigree, dating from the eighth or ninth centuries AD.

Dimensions: 2.3cm length x 4.4cm width

Object Period: Anglo-Saxon

Provenance: Windsor, Berkshire

Museum Accession No.: AN1909.518

Aquisition History: Presented to the Ashmolean Museum by Sir Arthur Evans in 1909.

Other Information: Interlaced biting creatures with snakes' bodies are known from southern English sculpture of the period, and this pommel forms tangible evidence that references in Saxon literature to 'gold-hilted swords' were not an exaggeration of the splendours of Anglo-Saxon craftmanship.

Further References / Links:

L. Webster and J. Backhouse, The Making of England. Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture, AD600-900, (London, 1991) no. 180.