Local exhibitions week – Part 5

OK it is really 8 days by now but I only found out about this exhibition after I had been to Leeds last week – it was posted about on Facebook by Stephen Roper , a jeweller . The Leeds Armouries had some actual objects from the Staffordshire hoard (until October 2) as opposed to replicas which will go on a major tour , so we visited yesterday . Apparently this is a hoard of gold and a little silver from Anglo-Saxon times found in what had been the kingdom of Mercia . Many objects were damaged because they were parts of sword & knife hilts and had been wrenched off . Nevertheless the quality of the workmanship is visibly quite extraordinary – especially when you consider (as Stephen pointed out) that they were working without magnification .

Sword pyramids (ends of hilt cross pieces?) in gold set with garnets and red glass

Sword pyramids (ends of hilt cross pieces?) in gold set with garnets and red glass

Sword hilt collars worked in gold filigree

Sword hilt collars worked in gold filigree

There was some information/speculation about the garnets – possibly Middle Eastern and the gold – possibly melted down from Byzantine coins but nothing on the red glass . Red is a difficult because highly fugitive colour in glass/glazes so did they make it themselves or was it broken fragments looted ? Where from ? And why melt down coins when the reddish gold of Saxon England was famous ? And there are an awful lot of garnets from far away in the hoard – traded , stolen or looted & by whom ? We don’t seem to know much about the Anglo-Saxon period in England and of course it wasn’t long .

Finally there was a contemporary sculpture , inspired by the objects , designed and made by the blacksmith Stuart Makin –

ldssclptHe made it from sheet steel painted in gold and red perspex ; it is 2 metres wide and 2.5 tall and takes the form of a dragon pierced screen supported by 4 birds . His website is well worth a look –



About rukshanaafia

Ceramic & textile artist
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One Response to Local exhibitions week – Part 5

  1. Pingback: New Herb Garden – Hammer and Sickle | Wild Indigo Herbal Medicine

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