The Abingdon Sword
Ashmolean Museum inventory no. AN1890.14. Late 9th/early 10th century. Iron sword fragment and hilt, silver mounts inlaid with niello. High status weapon. Pommel originally featured two animal heads at each end, with protruding ears and round eyes and nostrils. Upper and lower guards are curved and contain various interlaced designs, including birds, animal and human figures, and foliate patterns. The figures on the upper guard have been identified as symbols of the evangelists. Lower portion of the blade is missing. Discovered at Bog Mill near Abingdon (possibly Buggs Mill on the river Ock) in the late 19th Century.