Last week on our facebook site (@AToBVintage) we played a game of “When is it?”  I posted this squat decorated glass jug (which was excavated from an English grave in 2003) and gave options from Roman to Victorian time periods.  The answer is “it’s older than you think” because this exquisite piece of glass dates from the Anglo-Saxon period (410 – 1066 AD) and specifically this particular piece is from the early period 500 – 700 AD.  For reference, the famous Anglo Saxon king “Alfred the Great” reigned in the late 800’s.

               Alfred as depicted in The Last Kingdom (currently airing on the BBC & Netflix) 

Often referred to as the “Dark Ages,” modern day folk tend to think of these folk as primitive and struggling to survive rather than creators of beautiful and complex objects.  But the reality is that people have been creating, acquiring and appreciating their “Thing of Beauty” since the beginning of time. 

Anglo saxon green beaker jug glass 

The blue beaker and another intact glass beaker (above) were part of a hoard of rare items found in an Anglo-Saxons kings grave which, unlike most, had never been robbed and it’s contents were a revelation.  You can read more about it at this link: https://www.realmofhistory.com/2019/05/20/christian-anglo-saxon-england-treasures/ and if you want to learn still more, find the Time Team: King of Bling documentary online, it’s fascinating.  These are not the only Anglo Saxon glass treasures to be found in England. 

Here is a glass drinking horn from the same period:   

Here is a “Bag Beaker” showing their use of two colors of glass:

And here is what is known as a “Claw Beaker.”  I cannot believe these delicate “claw” attachments survived intact.  Hardly primitive is it?

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