Auction Catalogue

5 December 2023

Starting at 10:00 AM


Ancient Coins and Antiquities

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№ 590


5 December 2023

Hammer Price:

The Steeple Claydon Saxon Die

Anglo-Saxon, 8th century, bronze ‘pressblech’ die, 37mm x 3mm, flat disc decorated in high relief, with an equal-armed cross with a plain central boss; surrounding this is an interlace strand which continues in the arms of the cross and around it, while the edge is beaded; in the angles of the cross are curved rectangular panels with interlace design; on the back are ten punched ring and dot motifs in a line. Very fine with a brown patina £3,000-£4,000

found at Steeple Claydon, Buckinghamshire, April 2021 (PAS SUR-DF4D6B)

Pressblech dies were used to make thin foil decoration on brooches, military equipment, mounts and fittings during the early Medieval period. This was done either by pressing or striking the foil creating a fresh image. Several examples from the late 6th/7th century are recorded on the PAS database including LIN-490483. The intricate interlace pattern on this example is similar to the ornamentation found on Irish art of the 8th/9th century (see The Work of Angels no. 141, a decorative mount). Noonans also sold an 11th-century Urnes-style die in September this year.