A SAXON treasure trove of buried gold, silver and gems – unearthed in one of the greatest finds of its kind – goes on show from today in Leeds.
The Warrior Treasures exhibition, which focuses on fittings from weapons and tells the story of their discovery, is now on public view until October 2 at the Royal Armouries.
The 7th century treasure, found buried in Staffordshire, is from the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Mercia, which at the height of its power included areas of modern Yorkshire. It is part of the Staffordshire Hoard collection, the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found and some of the objects on display have never been on show before.
Henry Yallop, lead curator for the exhibition and expert in edge weapons at the Royal Armouries said it provides a fascinating glimpse into the warrior culture of a period in Anglo-Saxon history.
The fittings are stripped from swords and seaxes – or single-edged knives – and are thought to represent the equipment used during the first half of the 7th century. They are intricately decorated with gold, silver and semiprecious gems, representing the finest quality Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship.
He said: “The hoard’s discovery is of universal appeal. Unearthing buried treasure of international importance is a story I defy anyone not to be excited by. When considered as standalone art objects each hilt plate, pommel cap or sword pyramid is a breath-taking object, crafted from the finest materials by the most skilled of hands.”