Anglo-Saxon Bronze Strap-End Group


A fine selection of bronze Anglo-Saxon bronze strap-ends, featuring beautiful engraved decoration. Their split ends would have encased materials such as leather and would have been secured in place with rivets. A typology of strap-ends developed by Gabor Thomas can be used to identify these examples as ‘type A’, which requires convex sides and a width/length ratio of around 1:3.5. Their decoration is in classic ‘Trewhiddle’ style, which date to the 9th century AD.  Features of this type can include billeted or nicked edges to mimic beading, sectioned areas of the surface, foliate and zoomorphic motifs, and additional silvering, niello, or enamel appliqués.


Date: Circa 7th -9th Century AD
Provenance: From the collection of a North American gentleman, formed in the 1990's
Condition: Excellent Condtion
Choice of item A B C D E
Clear selection

Strap-ends in the Anglo-Saxon period were highly visible, personal items and therefore an important addition to an individual’s appearance. At a time of low literacy, the repeated motifs and messaging imparted by certain styles would have provided a means of expression for the owner, connected to social identity, wealth and status.

The most popular types of strap-ends changed significantly over the course of the Anglo-Saxon period. The 7th century saw an influx of continental styles and thus an increase in Germanic zoomorphic designs, with highly regionalised styles. By the time we reach the 9th century, the first notion of a nationalistic art style has appeared with ‘Trewhiddle’ types, with similar designs appearing all the way from Cornwall to Dumfries and Galloway. Enamelling, silvering and niello techniques also reach their peak use. During the 10th century there is an apparent reduction is ostentatious display of personal wealth and so highly ornate strap ends become less common.

For further reading see: Thomas, G. (2000) A Survey of Late Anglo-Saxon and Viking-Age Strap-Ends from Britain. Unpublished PHD.

Weight N/A
Dimensions cm


Choice of item

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Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, item 1984,0206.1

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