Thought to be a fitting from a seax or dagger scabbard, the silver gilt object’s exquisite animal head translates as a pleasantly weighted letter opener. Pointed ears, enormous fangs between which its tongue curls out to touch its throat, hatching and diagonal mouldings are all beautifully modelled.
The late 8th century artefact, found in London, carries a runic inscription which to date has defied translation.
About the collection
A project with the British Museum, this collaboration draws on the public institution’s vast collection of over 8 million artefacts, documenting the story of human culture from its earliest days to the present. Each piece is marked with the British Museum logotype.