The Sutton Hoo Helmet

The Sutton Hoo Helmet

18th February 2019

Discovered in 1939 the Sutton Hoo haul is a most significant late C6th early C7th Anglo-Saxon find. At that time ‘East Angles’ was ruled by Raedwald and it is possible, given the importance of the artefacts found within the find that the helmet could be connected to him.

The helmet is the armoured head of a warrior, attended by gods. Made of hammered iron, proof against spear, sword and axe, it is also covered with protective metaphors.

Across the face is a bird with splayed wings, its body forming the warrior’s nose, the tail his moustache and the wings his eyebrows. The bird soaring up meets the jaws of a dragon plunging down, its thick iron body inlaid with zigzag silver wire curving over the crest.

The man’s head is equipped with defence at every angle, like a battle ship: the wingtips finish in wild-boar jaws, guarding the lateral blind spots; the dragon has a snarling mouth at its tail, bringing up the rear. All the heads, even the bird’s, have sets of sharp fangs: the bared teeth of the animal bodyguard.

A replica was commissioned by the British Army to a Jeweller in Edinburgh, who in turn gave us the piece to produce.

Our resident silversmith Mr Steve May, who has been with us for many years, after coming from another well known Sheffield company ‘Roberts & Belk’, where Steve served his apprenticeship since leaving school leaving school.

Steve was responsible for hand crafting this piece which you see here. Many other skills were involved such as Buffing, hand chasing, plating & polishing.

This skill is unfortunately a dying one, due to the traditional skill no longer been taught on the scale it used to be.

We are very lucky to have such an experienced work force within our company and we can still produce quality handcrafted products to customer requirements.