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

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Anglo-Saxon Abingdon Sword

Country of Origin: Britain

Description: Decorated sword hilt dating from c. AD875. The engraved ornament is in the Trewhiddle style - named after finds made at Trewhiddle, Cornwall. This style combines engraving and inlay with niello (black sulphide of silver). While the guard features interlacing animal motifs, the ornament on the upper guard represents the symbols of the Evangelists and the pommel incorporated two outward-looking animal heads, now fragmentary. The sword blade (broken) is made of iron.

Dimensions: 31.5cm length

Object Period: Anglo-Saxon

Provenance: Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Museum Accession No.: AN1890.14

Aquisition History: Found in 1874. Acquired by Sir John Evans and presented to the Ashmolean in 1890.

Other Information: This decorated sword hilt forms one of the most important examples of the late Anglo-Saxon silversmith's art.

Further References / Links:

D. M. Wilson, Anglo-Saxon Ornamental Metalwork, (1964) p. 38.

David A Hinton, A catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon ornamental metalwork, 700-1100 in the Department of Antiquities, Ashmolean Museum (Oxford, 1974).