Medieval strap end in romanesque style

Medieval romanesque bronze strap end



Copper-alloy, 14.89 grams, 62.97 mm. 12th century AD.


Having been sold as a 'Viking 'ship-shaped' strap end in 2009, over the years it become clear that stylistically this artefact isn't from the Viking Age, but from the 12th century. The form and execution of the head is romanesque in style, wich also can be viewed on artefacts from the Anglo-Norman era onwards into the 12th and early 13th century. It is an unusual zoomorphic strap-end modelled in the round wich regarding the form of the head finds a strong parallel in the strap fitting registred in the Portable Antiques Scheme under SF-1EADD4. Barry Ager pointed to a series of similar like formed objects


The upper terminal displays a three-lobed design with ribbed detailing along the sides. This extends along the length of the main body which features folded wings and lobed shoulders. At the lower end, a skilfully modelled neck develops at right-angles to the body, arching gracefully down to a robust animal-head finial with open mouth and exteded tongue. Aspects of the detailing recall Ringerike style, such as the semi-naturalistic treatment of the animal's head and wings.


Reference: cf. the animal-head detailing on the ring-pin from Bomloy, Hordaland in Franceschi, G., Jorn, A. & Magnus, B. Fuglen, Dyret og Mennesket i Nordisk Jernalderkunst Bind 2, Silkeborg, 2005, p.123. Good very fine condition. Found Norfolk.