New Golden Sword Hilt From Lincolnshire

The British Museum has purchased a set of 7th century golden garnet-studded sword hilt mounts from a metal detectorist who found them at Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, England, in 2002.

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It’s a funny find: the hilt has clearly been deposited in one piece with all the mounts held together by the tang of the sword, but there’s no trace of the blade and no evidence for any ploughed-out grave. It seems to be a well-documented case of a contextless find. Unless there’s a settlement there that isn’t mentioned in the BM press release.

The interlace decoration looks non-animal-art from the pics and is most likely of English make. Its closest parallels in Scandinavian art is Salin’s Style II, Arwidsson’s sub-style C, dating from c. 600 to 750. Link.

Thanks to Svante Fischer for the tip.

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