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The Art of the Anglo-Saxon Goldsmith

Throughout the Anglo-Saxon period, goldsmiths produced work of a high standard in both design and craftsmanship, both for personal adornment, and to embellish bookbindings, reliquaries, vessels and weapons. Some works are well known, particularly the magnificent gold and garnet regalia from Sutton Hoo, but this represents only a fraction even of the surviving work, and much more has been lost. This book is the first to look at the goldsmiths' products through the eyes of both a specialist in the period and a practical craftsman, combining close examination of the surface and structure of the objects with analysis of inscriptions and evidence for design, and with literary and visual sources of evidence for smiths and their work. Archaeological and documentary evidence for workshops, tools and working processes is also assessed, and up-to-date technical information on materials and techniques is juxtaposed with new practical research to throw light on manufacturing and decorative processes, and, more widely, to give a fresh idea of the position of the goldsmith in his society. Dr ELIZABETH COATSWORTH is Senior Lecturer in the Department of History of Art and Design, Manchester Metropolitan University; Dr MICHAEL PINDER is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture, Landscape and 3DD, at the same university.
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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; Glossary; 1 Introduction: the backgroaund to the study of the Anglo-Saxon goldsmith; Part I: The Goldsmith in Archaeology and his Art; 2 Archaeological evidence for goldsmiths and their tools; 3 Manufacturing techniques; 4 Decorative techniques 1: Changes of surface or form; 5 Decorative techniques 2: Non-metallic additions; 6 Construction and design; Part II: The Goldsmith in his Society; 7 Imagined goldsmiths: the representation of smiths in Anglo-Saxon literature and illustration; 8 Real goldsmiths: the historical evidence; 9 The Anglo-Saxon goldsmith in his society; Appendix A: The Anglo-Saxon vocabulary of metalworking; Appendix B: Select catalogue; Bibliography; Index

About the Author

Dr Elizabeth Coatsworth is Senior Lecturer at the Department of History of Art & Design, Manchester Metropolitan University. Dr Michael Pinder is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Architecture, Landscape and 3DD, Manchester Metropolitan University.


In its sharp observation, lucid presentation, and masterful synthesis of information, (this book) represents a significant and most welcome contribution to early medieval archaeology, art history, and history of science. TECHNOLOGY & CULTURE Ambitious and wide-ranging.(...) Should be consulted as a first step by anyone with a serious interest in Anglo-Saxon metalwork. COLLEGE ART ASSOCIATION online.

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