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Pair of copper-alloy strap ends

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posted on 2021-10-27, 17:51 authored by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Pair of very heavy bronze strap-tags, l. 8.5cm. Decoration in chip-carving style (cast of course) and nearly identical. The tags have a square back, split for a short length and with rivet holes in each corner. The front is straight sided but champfered along edges so that decoration here occupies narrower area; points blunt and rounded and heavily worn. Decoration on back consists of a crude full-face mask facing upwards, with blob on forehead, eyes, brow ridge prolonged into nose, bear rendered by row of 5 bullets; mask flanked by zoomorphic legs, with pear-shaped hips with central blobs up in top corner, feet facing outwards alongside masks, having multi-claw frond-like feet. Head enclosed in open jaws of serpentine creature, one of pair which interlaces in the panel forming the front of the tag. This creature has wide open jaws; blob cheek, eye with underlining, then a long triple strand body interlacing with that of the creature with head at foot of tag, and brought back in loop so that its tail or ?foot terminates just below its lower jaw. The other head facing up at bottom has open U-shaped head outline enclosing eye, underlining, cheek blob, and 3 strand neck and body interlacing with other - not properly worked out, but tail apparently of this creature returns across its own neck. Neck curve encloses blob - ?mock rivet?. The whole design enclosed by a double-grooved border, v. worn on front; at back a narrow rect. panel without decoration.Mayer card gives no provenance, but compares to the 'identical' fig. 171, or no. 3 vol. ix, pl. 7 of Lindenschmidt Altertümer unserer heidnischen Vorzeit


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Object ID


Catalogue Number

M 6921 & M 6921 A


copper alloy (Sonia Hawkes Material Notes; bronze) (Antiquarian Material; N/A)

Complete Keyword List (Including Alternatives)

strap ends (Sonia Hawkes Keyword; strap tags) (Antiquarian Keyword; N/A)




National Museums Liverpool


Mayer Collection

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    The Novum Inventorium Sepulchrale