Two reconstructions of rare Anglo-Saxon helmet to go on display
Heavily damaged before it was buried, the treasure – believed to be more than 1,300 years old – contained more than 4,000 fragments.
Reconstructions of a rare Anglo-Saxon helmet that formed part of the Staffordshire Hoard will go on public display for the first time.
The collection – the largest ever find of Anglo-Saxon gold – was unearthed on Staffordshire farmland by a metal detector enthusiast in 2009 and later valued at £3.3 million.
Heavily damaged before it was buried, the treasure – believed to be more than 1,300-years-old – contained more than 4,000 fragments.
After experts studied the pieces, they discovered a third of these came from the single high-status helmet, and proceeded to build a picture of the original.
They then spent 18 months using cutting-edge technology and ancient craft techniques to create two identical replica helmets – which will now go on public display from November 23.
Weighing in at three kilograms each, the helmets are made out of steel, leather, gold, and silver plated bronze and copper.
A spokeswoman from Birmingham Museums Trust said substantial remains of just five other Anglo-Saxon helmets exist, along with fragments of a handful more – making them very rare.
“The quality, style and decoration of the Staffordshire Hoard helmet make it fit for a king, but we cannot be sure who it belonged to,” she said.
“The original helmet was thoroughly, even violently, torn apart before burial, possibly more than was necessary to dismantle it for functional reasons.”
One replica helmet will go on permanent display at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and the other at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent.
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