The next PDAS winter lecture is on Monday 7 November in the Devonport Lecture Theatre, starting at 19:00, hosted in conjunction with Peninsula Arts.
Dr Eleanor Blakelock will be discussing the research project studying the Staffordshire Hoard.
The discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard in 2009 in a field near the village of Hammerwich, Lichfield, Staffordshire, led to the development of a cross-disciplinary program to conserve, research and disseminate the find. The Hoard consists of the largest assemblage of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver objects found in the UK, roughly 3,500 items, most of which is battle regalia. Many different raw materials were brought together to create the objects in the hoard, including; precious metals including 1.433 kilos of silver and 5.094 kilos of gold, 3,500 cloisonné garnets, glass, organics and other inlays. Most of the material belongs to the sixth to seventh centuries, with some items dating to the eighth century and much is richly decorated with intricate interlace patterns carried out using a variety of techniques including cloisonné garnet and filigree.
As part of the wider research project studying the Staffordshire Hoard a groundbreaking study of the gold was carried out. The work has revealed more details about workshop practice and from this, it is possible to outline some of the decisions made by the goldsmiths in the Anglo-Saxon period to enhance the appearance of the objects. One of these decisions showed a considerable degree of sophistication than first thought, where the goldsmiths were deliberately treating the gold to remove silver, making it more ‘golden’ in appearance probably to bring out contrasts in the designs. More work is required to understand the methods used by the goldsmiths.
To find out more go to http://www.plymarchsoc.org.uk/