Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/308

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

A HISTORY OF WARWICKSHIRE was also a variety of beads in amber and glass paste. One urn only was discovered : this was well fired, had been turned on the lathe, and was much ornamented. Close to the urn lay an iron sword, and across the mouth an iron spearhead, distinguished from the rest by a narrow bronze ring round the socket. Other pottery was found of a distinct character, comprising several cups capable of containing about half a pint each, imperfectly baked and in crumbling condition. 1 Of the objects figured from this site, two call for special mention as being of rare occurrence in Anglo-Saxon graves. One is a metal fragment described as ' an article of brass supposed to have been attached to a sword belt,' but its original breadth of 2^ inches leaves little room for doubt that it was the chape of a scabbard, the longitudinal ribs on both sides having clearly been attached to the leather sheath, which has perished. Whether this fragment originally belonged to the weapon found near the urn just mentioned it is perhaps impossible to decide, but it is in itself a rare specimen, and is sufficient evidence that a sword was once deposited with it in a grave. The other piece of special interest is a circular brooch of the same metal, from which the settings have disappeared. No detailed description is given, but the form is enough to refer it to a type common in the late Roman period, and frequently found in localities yielding Anglo-Saxon relics. The original setting seems to have been a carbuncle, either oval 2 or circular ; and while a find at Canterbury 3 shows a specimen associated with ornaments richly enamelled in the Roman manner, the national collection contains examples of both shapes from Roman and Anglo-Saxon sites. 4 The central cabochon has in most cases been lost, but a glass-paste imitation is found on some of the Roman examples ; while the Teutonic fashion was to cut the stone or glass into thin slabs and set these on gold foil. An interesting example of such work has been found near Rugby, 6 and consists of a gold stud, now somewhat damaged, with the centre ornamented in quadrants, and garnets in- laid in imbricated and step patterns, while the edge has oblong pieces of the same stones. This jewelled boss was probably intended to ornament a circular brooch, a buckle, or even a cup, 6 and may have been subsequently attached as a P omme l to a sword-hilt, as rough holes at the bottom and at two opposite points on the rim show that an unskilled hand has fastened it by means of a wire or metal band. Coloured drawings of other brooches found on this site are given in Akerman's Pagan Saxondom, pi. xviii., including two long narrow speci- 1 Roach Smith, Collectanea Antijua, i. 41, where the cinerary urn is figured ; other objects on pi. xviii. p. 36; Society of Antiquaries, Proceedings, ser. I, iii. 55 ; Bloxam, fragmenta SepulchraKa, pp. 5 2 . 53. 57 ; an( i Monumental Architecture and Sculpture of Great Britain, pp. 34, 44, 52. 2 A specimen found at Ragley Park and noticed below seems to have been of this description. 3 Roach Smith, Collectanea Antiqua, vii. 202, pi. xx. fig. 3.

  • Long Wittenham and East ShefFord, Berks ; and Haslingfield, Cambs.

6 Preserved in the School Art Museum, and kindly lent for illustration by Mr. Thos. Lindsay. 6 Compare the Kentish jewellery, the Taplow buckle, and the Ardagh chalice. 254