Anglo-Saxon Bling!

“Bling” is often thought of as a very modern thing. When we think of “bling”, often we think of urban things, like gold chains, or bejeweled objects, like purses, shoes, and even cars! However, it may surprise you how “hip” people in the past could be, with jewelry and designs that would not be out of place on a modern person! Think of ancient Roman Jewelry, or even some Tudor finds! The Saxons did not make as modern looking art, but it still looks “blingy”to me! Often, Saxon art has many patterns, like Celtic designs, and zoomorphic figures weaved into the abstract patterns. They make it in precious metals, such as gold and silver, and inlay it with a whole lot of gems! They set tiny gems and large gems, of all sorts of colors, shapes and sizes! Archaeologists have found rings, bracelets, broaches and even bejeweled armor! All of this luxury was only affordable by royalty and very, very rich nobles! The finds have been found buried with their owners, or in a hidden hoard, such as the Staffordshire Hoard. Many of these artifacts, probably due to the precious metals and gems, have been preserved in good to excellent condition! One could only imagine how stunning they looked when new! My top favorites are a fancy helmet inlaid with gold and with a full face-mask, and the Fuller Broach. The Fuller Broach was preserved is such excellent condition, it was mistaken for a fraud! They found out it was genuine because of a medieval mixture to fill in the grooves of the carvings, to expose the pictures. It’s most famous for showing the earliest medieval personification of the five senses, with sight in the center, and taste, touch, hearing and smell around the edges. To me, it’s like their own Saxon bling! Decoding Anglo-Saxon Art


                                                             (Click on me!)

In addition, when the Saxons were Christianized, they produced many drawings for manuscripts by the Christian monks. A common motif throughout the Middle Ages was “Labors of the Months”, depicting agricultural work for each month of the year, much like the seasonal pictures on a calendar today! A Medieval scholar, Sianne Lauren Shepherd, even wrote about Anglo-Saxon ones analyzing their significance, which she thinks is underrated. Anglo-Saxon Labours of The Months, Representing May



About History Is Interesting

I like ancient and medieval history!
This entry was posted in Archaeology and Anthropology, Middle Ages. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Anglo-Saxon Bling!

  1. Retrojackie says:

    Hi Julia! Love your article!

    Sent from my iPhone



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