Fitting in Form of Animal's Head by Unknown Artist

This fitting is in the shape of an animal head with an attachment loop as the tongue.


22.5 cm
Art Fund grant:
£34,500 ( Total: £50,000)
Acquired in:
Department for Culture, Media and Sport

The brow and muzzle have filigree work and the ears or horns are in the form of heightened sockets. The eyes are inlaid with blue glass. It was probably intended to be worn with the loop (or 'tongue') attached to some other, unknown, element. The fitting has no close parallel, although the snub-nosed form of the animal head, the blue eyes and the filigree decoration relate it to a number of mid to late 9th century Anglo-Saxon objects, such as the strap-ends from Ipsden Heath, Oxfordshire (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford), and Braughing, Hertfordshire (British Museum). The discovery of this piece so near to York opens up questions as to where it was made and its significance for the history of the city, the capital of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria.


Found at Sutton-on-the-Forest, declared Treasure in 2001.

Venue details

Yorkshire Museum Museum Gardens, York North Yorkshire YO1 7FR 01904 687687

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £6.81)

Daily, 10am – 5pm

Closed 25 – 26 Dec and 1 Jan