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

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.

Back to top