Date first half of 7th century
Movement Early Medieval
Medium Gold with garnets and enamels
Provenance Sutton Hoo ship burial
Housed at The British Museum
Serpents intermingle prominently on these clasps found at the Sutton Hoo ship burial. At each end, bores crouch back-to-back, their backs perfectly aligning with the outer curves of the clasps. Some scholars believe these clasps would have held a cloak in place at the shoulders, and are in the Roman style of doing so—perhaps indicating evidence of the King’s belief of himself as a Roman authority in the outer provinces; others see the checker-like crosses here as an indication of his conversion to Christianity.