Anglo-Saxon England

The Fuller Brooch
Anglo-Saxon England, late AD 800s

This large Anglo-Saxon silver brooch is of extraordinary craftsmanship and perhaps belonged to a high ranking churchman. The centre part is decorated with five figures representing each of the human senses.  Sight is in the centre with large bulging eyes and he is surrounded by Touch, Taste, Smell and Hearing, who can be identified by their actions.


The Desborough Necklace
Anglo-Saxon England, late AD 600s

This necklace, found in a woman’s grave, is the finest of its kind to survive from Anglo-Saxon England. Its gold wire beads and pendants set with garnets reflect a mix of Mediterranean and continental fashions. The inclusion of a cross pendant reflects the influence of Christianity.


The Strickland Brooch
Anglo-Saxon England, AD 800s

This silver brooch is an especially fine piece of Anglo-Saxon jewellery. Its intricate pattern of lively animals with glittering gold bodies and blue glass eyes is inlaid with niello, a black metal alloy that was popular at this time. The mixture of materials is unusual for a brooch of this date and it was probably worn by a wealthy woman.


Images are my own. Descriptions are from the British Museum.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

33 thoughts on “Anglo-Saxon England”

  1. That gold necklace is really wonderful for 600AD. Modern designers would do well to take their example from work of such quality.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

      1. I know! They really set the benchmark for pattern design. So much of what we still use in design is all based on these ancient designs. The craftsmanship of those days was just extraordinary!

    1. Yes they are, if you can get close enough! Unfortunately I had problems with the camera so had to reduce the size to web only, so these are not nearly as good as they should be.

    1. I think if you find a ‘proper’ craftsman there is some wonderful stuff out there, trouble is it is very expensive, but I’d rather have one beautifully designed piece of jewellery than a box full of tat.

    1. Fabulous Sherri. These items were much better in real life, but the lighting is very low in this room and my camera was playing up, so I only got very small files. Still, hopefully I shall be back 🙂

    1. I can see you with that necklace 😉
      I don’t wear any jewellery these days except a pendant occasionally. Oh and my copper and brass African bangles – they never come off! (Apart from airport security ;( )

      1. Now I want to see a photo of your bracelets 🙂 I have one of those you wear to keep arthritis at bay (or not!). Not quite the same thing, is it?

        1. African Bangles

          I only wear three now. I suppose the copper ones should work the same as the ‘medical’ ones. They are good for indicating damp weather as they go dull and my wrist turns green!

        2. They’re lovely! Thank you kind lady 🙂
          My husband wears one that turns green and I have to ‘treat’ it with nail varnish. Mine doesn’t go green but it doesn’t work for me either 🙂

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