This is a nice Saxon period openwork gold pendant, dating to the 6th - 7th century A.D. It is made from gold wire, hammered and set with five granules. The shape is known as a Sun Cross, or Wheel Cross, a solar symbol consisting of an equilateral cross inside a circle. During this Saxon period it was associated with the god Woden's Cross / Odin's Cross. This type of pendant is usually found on Saxon necklaces with graduating sized amulets/pendants (mainly belonging to elite females).
The closest parallel to this pendant comes from a 7th-century grave 391B at Buckland Dover, Kent (Parfitt and Anderson 2012), which is made from three concentric rings of beaded gold wire. A similar simple ring pendant is recorded on the PAS database from Ramsgate in Kent (KENT-F5A964) although in this case the pendant is made from a single coiled piece of beaded wire. Openwork gold pendants are more often made with a central cross motif, giving a wheel shape (eg MacGregor & Bolick 1993, 162 no 25.1, from Faversham). Circular pendants also often have a central gem and backing plate but there is no trace of that in this case. The date is likely to be late 6th or 7th century. See also SF-0646A8, KENT-6E1652, and KENT-C162C6 for further discussion.
DATE: c. 6th - 7th century A.D.
SIZE: 15.41mm x 11.60mm x 3.17mm
WEIGHT: 0.62 grams
PROVENANCE: Formerly in an Old English Collection, acquired from a Cambridgeshire collection
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