I have been desperate to see some old medieval metalwork lately. I think it has been fuelled by some recent TV series I have been watching. Camelot in particular, probably Game of Thrones too. We planned to go and see the Staffordshire hoard last weekend, the biggest anglo-saxon gold find ever, found in a field in Staffordshire by a lucky chappie with a metal detector in 2009. It is currently on a bit of a mini-tour of the Midlands. I hoped to catch it last week at Lichfield Cathedral, but I didn't realise that you had to book a 20 minute(!) slot in advance. And when I tried, it was fully booked every single day whilst it is in Lichfield. It moves to Tamworth Castle at the end of August, but the only weekend slot available was in September. Rather popular! It is free though, but quite a long drive from here. Anyways, that's to look forward to and I've ordered a book to drool at photos in the meantime!
So as consolation, yesterday we had a day out to the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Metalwork heaven. I got all kinds of inspiration. I didn't see much early medieval / celtic metalwork, but metalwork on the armour from 16th / 17th century Europe was amazing. Wow. I wish I could have an apprenticeship in an armoury!
So elaborate, in this chainmail, every single link is rivetted!
The oriental section was fab too, very different. Some of the turkish arms were so elaborately decorated.
My favourite 'piece' of the whole day though was the elephant armour (large and close ups pictured). Just wow! I have some ideas for this...