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Reconstructed escutcheon design
Reconstructed escutcheon design

The Benty Grange hanging bowl is a fragmentary Anglo-Saxon artefact from the seventh century CE. All that remains are parts of two escutcheons: bronze frames that are usually circular and elaborately decorated, and that sit along the outside of the rim or at the interior base of a hanging bowl. A third disintegrated soon after excavation. The escutcheons were found in 1848 by an antiquary, Thomas Bateman, in a tumulus in north-western Derbyshire. The grave also contained the boar-crested Benty Grange helmet. The surviving escutcheons are made of enamelled bronze and are 40 mm (1.6 in) in diameter. They show three dolphin-like creatures arranged in a circle, each biting the tail of the one ahead of it (design shown). Their bodies and the background are made of enamel, likely all yellow, with the creatures' outlines and eyes tinned or silvered, as are the borders of the escutcheons. The third escutcheon was of a different size and style and it may have originally been placed at the bottom of the bowl. (Full article...)

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