The North Grimston Sword, this rare and striking Iron Age sword was
found by accident while state workers were digging pors-holes on Lord
Middletons land near North Grimston.
In 1902 laborers uncovered the grave of a Celtic warrior at North
Grimston. The dead man had been buried with a shield, two swords and a
joint of pork (as The Curadmr or Champion's Portion whereby the
warrior acknowledged as the bravest was given awarded the choicest cut
of meat, often boar or pork. The smaller of the two swords was decorated
with an anthropomorphic (man-shaped) handle. Ownership o such a rare
item marks the man buried at North Grimston out to be one of the most
important people in Iron Age East Yorkshire.
J.R. Mortimer the pioneering early archaeologist and Driffield corn
merchant- was called in and published the extraordinary find in his
book Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East
Yorkshire in 1905
The diggers had uncovered the burial place of an important Iron Age
warrior. As well as the famous short-sword with its bronze hilt in the
shape of a human head, there was another much longer iron sword, two
iron rings probably from the sword belt and the fragmentary remains of a
shield in the form of pieces of bronze binding.
The North Grimston sword is one of a small number of similar weapons
found across Celtic Europe which feature a human figure forming the hilt.
Other examples come from Hungary, northern Italy, Switzerland and
This sword can now be seen on display at Hull and East Riding Museum.
This magnificent anthropomorphic Celtic sword is also one of the best
preserved. The human form of the hiltof a classical warriormust have
been intended to enhance the power of the owner and to bear a talismanic
significance. The face is emphatically articulated with large almond
eyes, and the head with finely drawn hair. The sword is of a type
associated with the La Tne culture.
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Certificate of Origin and Quality. Made in Toledo, Spain.
- Overall Length: 43 cms - 17 inches
- Blade: AISI 420 stainless steel - fully tempered to 48-53 Rockwell hardness
- Handle: Zamak with Bronze Finish
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