Franks Casket

Description

This lidded Anglo-Saxon casket is made of whale bone; it is carved on the sides and top in relief with scenes from Roman, Jewish, Christian and Germanic traditions. The five surviving decorated panels are accompanied by carved texts in Old English and Latin. Each side is bordered by a long descriptive text. The front is divided in two: the left half shows a scene from the Weland the Smith legend, the right half, the Adoration of the Magi, with the label 'mægi' carved above the kings. The main inscription takes the form of a riddle about the bone used to make the casket – it refers to a beached whale. The left-hand end depicts Romulus, Remus and the she-wolf that cared for them. The back panel shows the capture of Jerusalem in AD 70 by the Roman general, later emperor, Titus.

Full title:
The Franks Casket / The Auzon Casket
Created:
Early 8th century
Format:
Object
Language:
Old English in runes
Copyright:
© Trustees of the British Museum
Usage terms
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike licence
Held by
The British Museum
Shelfmark:
1867,0120.1

Full catalogue details

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