The Alton Buckle
The Anglo Saxon buckle from Grave 16 of the Mount Pleasant Anglo-Saxon cemetery found during excavations in 1959-61.
A silver gilt body with sub-triangular shape, filigree wire and niello, set with cloisionne garnets and glass. The centre panel of semi zoomorphic design is gold filigree on a gold repousse base. The buckle shows signs of considerable use and wear, the two silver gilt bars being ancient repairs.
The buckle was found in the grave of an Anglo-Saxon warrior with a sword, shield boss, spear heads and numerous small items.
It is the finest piece of Anglo-Saxon craftmanship to have been found in Hampshire, and is amongst the most beautiful and accomplished Anglo-Saxon pieces to have been found outside the famous Sutton Hoo burial.
Buckles like this were worn by men and used to fasten a belt worn around the waist or hips during the 6th and 7th centuries.