British Collection Highlights:

Holderness Cross

This high-status gold and garnet cross was found in Burton Pidsea on the Holderness Peninsula, East Yorkshire. It dates to the seventh century and is an early example of the Christian symbol of a cross being made in Anglo-Saxon England using a technique known from pagan jewellery of the period. The cloisonne cell work is filled with shaped garnets; only fifty-eight of the original ninety-five garnets survive. X-Ray diffraction has indicated that the garnets were set in a bedding of calcium carbonate, a technique common for Anglo-Saxon jewellery. This technique was being used in Anglia which is where the cross may also have been made.

There are similarities between the Holderness cross and another found in a grave at Ixworth in Suffolk in about 1856.

The cross is on display in the ‘England 400-1600’ gallery on the second floor.

Click to enlarge

Holderness Brooch (Click to enlarge)

Holderness Cross (AN1999.206)

Further Information

MacGregor, A. 2000. A seventh-century pectoral cross from Holderness, East Yorkshire. Medieval Archaeology 44, 217-222.

MacGregor, A. 2000. The Holderness Anglo-Saxon Cross. Minerva 11(2), 3

 

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January 2012