What Made the Anglo-Saxons Capable of Conquering the Britons?

Nov 2008
1,400
England
Why would they regard as high status objects which, within Britain at least, were used predominantly by their despised British slaves?
A possible answer here is that these high status objects were not seen as having any stigma attached to them.
 

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
5,219
To continue. Even the Danes could do it, or perhaps the craftsman was a Jute in the fifth century.

Hannenov, golden neckring - Unknown - Google Arts & Culture
Highly unlikely. Although gold neck rings are well known in scandinavia as far back as the bronze age and migration period neck rings are found throughout the region and around the baltic sea region, according to Owen-Crocker, none have been found in England. But these are completely different items from the Cloisonné objects referred to and the decoration on Hannenov is part of the cast and is not like the filigree on the sea horse which is attached to the cast. It's a different production technique.

Even the pre roman celts in Britain used gold neck rings. The Snettisham torcs use yet another prodution technique, that of twisted drawn wire.

 
Last edited:
Mar 2015
1,450
Yorkshire
Aelwine - I don't think anyone would argue against the A-S producing gold and silversmith of the highest quality and complexity. The repair of the damaged hanging bowl at Sutton Hoo was achieved using the highest quality metalwork.

However, I think what the experts seem to believe is missing in A-S technology is Cloisonne enamelling - the video below gives some ideas just how difficult this is even today -

 

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
5,219
An informative site for those who are interested. Scroll down and you will see some exquisite objects made by Nordic peoples during the age of migrations.
We know this, see the reproductions of the 4th/5th century Horns of Gallehus. Metal work was of a very high standard since the nordic bronze age.





Gold was used since the bronze age. It was easy to work and easy to cast. Most famous are the gold sun disks. However, around 550AD the gold supply stopped. It had been brought back in various forms from the roman empire and was melted down and recast in places like Bornholm. With less gold being available and solid gold objects more or less disappearing, new objects appear, objects which use stones like garnets, new techniques of inlay and bits of gold fused with silver and decoration made out of wire and soldered on. They are very popular initially amongst the Goths and make their way to Vendel Period Sweden. It becomes very popular in many germanic parts of europe, this from Vendel Period Norway:



The artefacts from Sutton Hoo, the helmet, clasps, belt buckle etc are stylistically vendel period and it is a question, yet to be answered, who taught the various germanic tribes how to do this. It is not unique to anglo saxons, who may have obtained them from Gaul.

However, none of this has much to do with hanging bowls which predate the vendel period and which, as far as I know, are not found in the germanic speaking areas on the continent. Metal working techniques and smiths were prized and differences in ethnicity between the consumer and the producer may not have been important at all.
 
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Nov 2008
1,400
England
Aelwine - I don't think anyone would argue against the A-S producing gold and silversmith of the highest quality and complexity. The repair of the damaged hanging bowl at Sutton Hoo was achieved using the highest quality metalwork.

However, I think what the experts seem to believe is missing in A-S technology is Cloisonne enamelling - the video below gives some ideas just how difficult this is even today -
Well there is a forum member here who, a few posts back, inferred those Anglo-Saxon craftsmen were crude and incapable of producing anything intricate and beautiful. My point is that these craftsmen - artists - were indeed very clever and that the specialised skill of enamelling would not have been beyond their ability to acquire. Whether they did or not is a different matter. Anyway this is interesting:

Decoding Anglo-Saxon art