Sword beads?

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Teagirl
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Sword beads?

Post by Teagirl »

In my general research on beads I keep coming across references to sword beads, but nothing definitive other than various burials have a bead near the sword, so they think the bead was a talisman of sorts.

Anyone have any information or thoughts on this?

Thanks!

-Su
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Wiblick
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Post by Wiblick »

I'm bored at work and find this most intriguing - and I'm sure it will very quickly become a necessary trinket for any self respecting sword toting dark ager. So start making them!

(I'm really waiting for you to make those massively big beads they find on Time Team digs)

From Arms and Armor
Helmut Nickel; Stuart W. Pyhrr
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, New Series, Vol. 47, No. 2, Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 1988-1989. (Autumn, 1989), pp. 20-22.

In many warrior graves of the Dark Ages a bead of agate,
amber, or meerschaum was found next to the sword. This
Schwertperle, or "sword bead," was a good-luck piece attached
to the scabbard by a strap. Sometimes a gold or silver
coin mounted as a pendant takes the place of the talismanic
bead; in this case the gold coin of Emperor Justin 11 (which
gives a convenient date post quem), set in a frame of matching
filigree decoration, seems to have been the sword's
Schwertperle. The similarly decorated beads might have been
ornaments for the attachment strap.


Other websites say they weren't attached to the sword, but that they were 'large'

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Teagirl
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Post by Teagirl »

Wiblick wrote:I'm bored at work and find this most intriguing - and I'm sure it will very quickly become a necessary trinket for any self respecting sword toting dark ager. So start making them!

(I'm really waiting for you to make those massively big beads they find on Time Team digs)

....

Other websites say they weren't attached to the sword, but that they were 'large'
Well, first you have to define 'large'. :D Are you talking about the Walmgate bead? http://www.channel4.com/history/microsi ... ng_up.html

I saw the info you posted about the schwertperle, now I would love to find information on how they were fastened to the sword and why.

Mike's done some in amber glass recently that are around 18mm in diameter.

Give me an idea of what you're interested in and I'll lock...erm, encourage Mike to go to the studio and see what he can do.

-Su
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WorkMonkey
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Post by WorkMonkey »

I've never read about coins in close context to a sword blade, but certainly there are graves with either amber or glass beads found in the vacinity of the sword blade, suggesting they were dangling from some sort of attatchment. There's references in the Viking sagas about healing beads or something that were meant to protect the bearer of the sword from harm (though I think these were kept in a bag {round the neck?} as apposed to the sword) There's also references to "peace bands" that stop the sword being drawn at a feast or something, if the beads were attatched to a leather strap, you could theoretically tie it around the hilt to stop the blade coming out the scabbard. You get the same sort of effect with the pyramid strap pieces found at Sutton Hoo and the like, though these are strictly 7th Century If I recall, what they were used for is anyones guess but they could wrap around the grip, again, only if they were attatched to dangling straps.
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davetmoneyer
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Post by davetmoneyer »

Hi for info on these see the BAR report on AngloSaxon Cahrms and pendants
(think its BAR 98 or around that ares further help greatly appreciated)
Large beads were apparently mounted on scabbards to heal wounds caused by the sword. Echos of this practice are found in the Arthurian legend when the lady of the lake (aka Watery Bint) gave Arthur a scabbard for Excaliber that woud render him safe from injury whilst he wore it. Thae scabbard was knicked by Morgana le Fey
hope this helps
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Teagirl
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Post by Teagirl »

davetmoneyer wrote:Hi for info on these see the BAR report on AngloSaxon Cahrms and pendants
(think its BAR 98 or around that ares further help greatly appreciated)
Meaney, Audrey L. Anglo-Saxon Amulets and Curing Stones. British Archaeological Reports Series 96. Oxford: 1981.

Out of print, of course. Thanks for the title, I'll see if I can scare it up somewhere.

-Su
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Attilla the Bun
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Post by Attilla the Bun »

on the case... 8)
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Teagirl
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Post by Teagirl »

:shock:

:D

-Su
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Post by Hobbitstomper »

If you are wearing big clear transparent beads/spheres please be aware that they can (and were) be used to start fires. They act like magnifying glasses on sunny days. Having your posh kit burst in to flames is something that people will remind you of for years after the 3rd degree burns have healed. :evil:

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Post by Attilla the Bun »

Attilla the Bun wrote:on the case... 8)
Sorted :D
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Teagirl
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Post by Teagirl »

Ooooh!

-Su
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Attilla the Bun
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Post by Attilla the Bun »

you know my methods, Watson..
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Teagirl
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Post by Teagirl »

Ayup, and I'm also working on Beads du Lapin as we speak!

-Su
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Attilla the Bun
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Post by Attilla the Bun »

:D :D :D
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Teagirl
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Post by Teagirl »

Whoo hoo, something wicked this way came!

Mike now has two things to try making this weekend, sword beads and a surprise.

Now I know how big 'big' is supposed to be.

:lol:

-Su
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Attilla the Bun
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Post by Attilla the Bun »

They got there, then? :shock: That was unusually quick!
Does your postie come down the canal, by speedboat?
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Teagirl
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Post by Teagirl »

Attilla the Bun wrote:They got there, then? :shock: That was unusually quick!
Does your postie come down the canal, by speedboat?
Sadly, no. She trudges up the hill laden with good things.

Homework this weekend then, if I get done early I hope to watch Dr Who on Saturday, though.

;-D

We had hoped to head to Coventry for the day to watch shivering gladiators but decided that a Bank Holiday was for not sitting in traffic.

:-(

-Su
Prime practitioner of headology and purveyor of beads.

Tillerman Beads

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