Early Medieval beasties

One of my favourite Treasure cases from the county is this stunning silver strap end with an expertly depicted beast LEIC-53D3E4.

It was found in Belton parish in 2012.  The beast fills the frame and is so well depicted you can almost see it writhing. Its lower body is a knotted mass which may include a tail, legs and and other motifs. When new the animal would have been framed in a bed of black niello, most of which is now lost, but small traces can still be seen. Sadly it is incomplete, missing the stylised animal head at its tip. just the top of the rounded ears are now present.

The work is in the Trewhiddle-style and this dates the strap-end to the 9th century AD.