Guilden Morden boar

The Guilden Morden boar is a sixth- or seventh-century Anglo-Saxon copper alloy figure of a boar that may have once served as the crest of a helmet. It was found around 1864 or 1865 in a grave in the village of Guilden Morden in Cambridgeshire. Herbert George Fordham, whose father discovered the boar, donated it to the British Museum in 1904, where it is now displayed. It is simply designed, with a prominent mane; eyes, eyebrows, nostrils and tusks are only faintly present. A pin and socket design formed by the front and hind legs suggests that the boar was mounted on another object, such as a helmet. Boar-crested helmets are a staple of Anglo-Saxon imagery, evidence of a Germanic tradition in which the boar invoked the protection of the gods. They may have been common, and in the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, boar-adorned helmets are mentioned five times. The Guilden Morden boar is one of three known to have survived to the present, together with the ones on helmets from Benty Grange and Wollaston.

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