Sunday, January 2, 2011

The staffordshire hoard

And so, briefly in Birmingham, and the opportunity to see pieces from the Staffordshire Hoard. There’s a beautiful set of pictures on Flikr but what they don’t prepare you for is the size of some of the items

http://www.flickr.com/photos/finds/3944486130/in/set-72157622378376316/lightbox

Now cleaned and on display, these pieces are about the size of your thumb nail, yet adorned with intricate patterns and shaped to hold minute pieces of fitted garnet.

History is usually the story of the sword wielders, not the sword makers, but these pieces were made by consummate craftsmen, working without the benefit of magnifying glasses or strong artificial lighting, on a scale that is so small as to be breath taking. A small toast to those nameless masters of the intricate.

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