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“They seemed a boar's form
to bear over their cheeks ;
this kept the guard of life.” And again, in other parts of the poem, the following allusions occur :
« Surrounded with lordly chains,
even as in days of yore
the ready battle sword."* It will be noticed in these extracts that the "mail-coat," or “ mail-shirt” is twice mentioned, as well as the "helmet lofty in war.” Thus the passages fully illustrate the extra
ordinary discovery in Derbyshire, which embraced a coat of mail along with the helmet and other objects (amongst which was a curious six-pronged instrument of iron). The coat of mail consisted of a mass of chain work, the links of which were attached to each other by small rings. The links were
of two kinds, "one being flat and lozenge-shaped, about an inch and a half long; the others, all of one kind, but of different lengths, varying from four to ten inches. They are simply lengths of square rod iron, with perforated ends, through which pass the rings connecting them with the diamond. shaped links. They all show the impression of cloth over a considerable part of the surface, and it is therefore no improbable conjecture that they would originally constitute a kind of quilted cuirass, by being sewn up within or upon a doublet of strong cloth." Fragments of another helmet of very similar character were found in the following year in another barrow, a few miles from the one just described.
Of fibulæ, besides some small circular examples which have been from time to time found, a magnificent one of gold was discovered some years ago in a barrow on Winster Moor. This remarkably fine fibula (page 466), was formed of gold “filagree" work, which was mounted on a silver plate. It was set with stones or paste on chequered gold foil, and measured two inches in diameter. Along with this fibula were found the following interesting articles : a cross of pure gold, ornamented, like the fibula, with "filagree” work, and having a garnet cut in facets set in its centre;
a silver armlet; two glass vessels, and a number of beads. These and some other articles were all found by the sides of two cinerary urns. A remarkably fine penannular brooch of the Irish type,
of the period now under notice, was discovered in the same neighbourhood (at Bonsall), of which I may yet take occasion to speak in the pages of THE STUDENT.
Of beads and necklaces some extremely beautiful examples have been found; of these, the necklace from the barrow at Wyaston (page 467,) will be sufficient for my present purpose. It consists of twenty-seven beads, five of which are of amber, carefully rounded into a globular shape, the largest an inch in diameter, and the remaining twenty-two are of glass or porcelain, variegated in different colours. Another necklace was formed of garnets, etc., set in gold, and was of extremely elegant pensile form.
Combs, rings, earrings, and armlets have occasionally been found, and have been of the usual forms.
Of enamelled ornaments some choice examples have been
barrow on Middleton Moor, and others, though fragmentary, which are here engraved, at Benty Grange. In the same
barrow were found the silver edging and mountings, and the ornaments, of a small drinking cup of leather. The cup was about three inches in diameter at the top, and had been ornamented by two crosses and four wheel-shaped ornaments of silver, and by a silver rim and upright bands. It is shown page 468. Several other objects, in silver, including earrings, rings, sword mountings, fibulæ, and other personal ornaments, have also been brought to light. In one interment some silver ornaments, and various articles belonging to a lady's chatelainé, along with a thread box of bronze, and some bronze needles or pins, were found in what appeared to be the remains of a wicker basket. Portions of buckets too have been noticed.
In bronze many articles have been found. Among these, perhaps two of the most curious are the bowl and the small
box pierced for suspension, here shown. The bowl measured
seven inches in diameter, and the box two inches. Bosses, highly ornamented, and other bronze objects, have also been found.
One of the most curious set of objects which the Saxon graves of Derbyshire have produced is a set of twenty-eight bone counters, or draughtsmen, some of which are shown on the following engraving, where they are represented of their full size. They were found by Mr. Bateman in a barrow near Cold Eaton, along with an interment of burnt bones, some fragments of iron, and portions of two bone combs. The draughtsmen, as they are supposed to be, and the combs had been burnt with the body. Querns have occasionally been found in Saxon barrows.
Of glass vessels I have already mentioned the finding of some examples, but it is necessary also to note the curious disco
very of the glass cup here shown, and which, from the care which had been taken in inclosing it in a wooden box must have been no little prized by the deceased lady. The cup, of thick
green glass, a bone comb, some small instruments of iron, a piece of perforated bone, and a necklace with pendant ornaments, with other articles, were found inclosed in a box or casket, made of ash wood half an inch in thickness, with two hinges, and a small lock, which had, when placed in the grave, been carefully wrapped in woollen cloth. The interment was in many respects a highly interesting one.
The pottery of the Anglo-Saxon grave-mounds and cemeteries consists almost entirely of cinerary urns. These were undoubtedly, like those of the ancient Britons, made near the places where the remains have been discovered, and, as & natural consequence, usually from clays found in the neighbourbood of the place. The form of the cinerary urns is somewhat peculiar. Instead of being wide at the mouth, like the Celtic