Early Anglo Saxon gold biconical spcacer bead

Early Anglo Saxon gold biconical spcacer bead

Code: 12466

£450.00 Approx $569.62, €525.7

This is an early Anglo-Saxon gold spacer bead dating to the 6th - 7th century AD.  It has been made from a single spiral of plain unbeaded wire, formed into a biconical shape. Other examples have been recorded from Witton NMS-6F95B0, Burmington PAS-CF6701 and St. Lawrense ESS-01B025. This type of biconical wire bead is well known from necklaces dating to the second half of the seventh century (Geake 1997, 43). Similar examples, also of plain unbeaded wire, are found on the necklace from Finglesham grave 7 (Hawkes and Grainger 2006), and on the PAS database at PAS-CF6701 (2012T145). A biconical bead of slightly different shape, but using unbeaded gold wire embellished with occasional beaded lengths, is recorded on the PAS database at SF-40CB01 (2009T344). Examples using beaded wire are perhaps more common, with finds on the PAS database including the beads from Rowington, Warwickshire (PAS-2B1E44; 2002/T95) and North Down, Kent (KENT-7009B3; 2003/T207; Treasure Annual Report 2003, no.94, p.72, fig.94.2, p.214).

These beads were worn on high-status necklaces, such as the necklace from Desborough, Northamptonshire (Webster and Backhouse (eds) 1991, 28, fig 13). The Desborough necklace is strung with an alternating sequence of gold and cabochon garnet pendants, gold bulla pendants and biconical gold wire beads; at the centre is an equal-armed cross. 

This example is made from gold, but the discolouration is in part caused by extensive heat and patina from burial. 


CULTURE: Germanic Migration / Saxon

DATEc. 6th - 7th century A.D.


SIZE: 9.6mm x 3.9mm

WEIGHT: 0.68 grams

PROVENANCE: Formerly in a private collection, Horsham. Sussex.