University of Oxford
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Inlaid iron fragment with textile remains

online resource
posted on 2021-10-26, 19:44 authored by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Piece of iron plate, max. length now 2cm, roughly triangular. In the centre a cabochon or white shell with central garnet recessed in, itself curved and set on chequered gold foil - the whole held in a bronze collar enclosed in a frame of beaded silver (gilt?) wire. On the back there appears a bronze rivet head from the rivet which secured the cell to the iron plate. As now preserved, the cell in central to the plate: the remainder of the surface of this plate is covered with flat silver wires inlaid. On one side, abutting the cell, is a border of sloping step-pattern inside two straight wire borders - this side shows slight traces of recent breakage. Meeting this border at an oblique angle on the opposite side of triangle is another straight wire which had evidently formed part of a similar border, but this edge shows clear signs of recent damage. The third edge appears intact, with old corrosion, and here again there appears to be a border with two straight wires. The space thus enclosed has a pattern of zig-zag and one semi-circular motifs.Vera Evison discusses question of scabbard fitting, and compares with knife sheath in Leiden Museum (pl. ix.d).


Grave ID

Kingston Down Grave 16

Object ID


Catalogue Number

M 6103


iron, gold, copper alloy, white metal, inlay, white material, garnet, textile (Sonia Hawkes Material Notes; iron, cabochon, shell, garnet, gold foil, bronze, silver) (Antiquarian Material; iron, silver, ivory, garnet, linen cloth)

Complete Keyword List (Including Alternatives)

other miscellaneous, unidentified (Sonia Hawkes Keyword; scabbard fitting, knife sheath) (Antiquarian Keyword; sword scabbard, chape)




National Museums Liverpool


Mayer Collection

Original Collection


Category ID


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