Early Medieval gold and garnet sword button by Unknown Artist

This beautiful and intricate sword-button from Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire was once attached to an Anglo-Saxon sword-scabbard dating to the first half of the 7th century.


Gold and garnet
6.8 mm x 14.3 mm
Art Fund grant:
£4,500 ( Total: £6,500)
Acquired in:
Department for Culture, Media and Sport

It is made of gold and cloisonné garnets and reveals an extremely high level of craftsmanship. The artistic style of the button is typical and comparable to contemporary 7th century Anglo-Saxon objects, such as the Ixworth Cross and the Milton brooch. Although small and incomplete, it serves as a particularly complex example of fine gold and garnet working, and is of higher quality than comparable pieces previously found in the UK. Conservation work will be carried out and perhaps reveal its intricate construction.


Found by a metal detectorist in Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire on 30 September 2010.

Venue details

Ashmolean Museum Beaumont Street, OXFORD Oxfordshire OX1 2PH 01865 278000 www.ashmolean.org

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