Over a thousand years ago, this glass drinking vessel was a unique, high-status import to Britain, probably for the inhabitants of the royal dwelling at Faversham.

The beaker is of exceptionally fine light olive-green glass with numerous bubbles; spiral trailing decorates the upper and lower portions and a single row of four hollow claw-like projections are applied to the lower body. The delicate construction and single row of claws mark it out as a continental import into Anglo-Saxon England. Claw-beakers, so called because of the claw-like projections from the body of the vessel, derive from late Roman forms and became especially popular in Merovingian Gaul and the Rhineland, and in Anglo-Saxon England.


Anglo-Saxon cemetery, Favesham, Kent, excavated 1860's; General Pitt-Rivers Collection; by descent; Sold Sotheby's, 1977; Sheppard and Cooper Ltd.

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