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     Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 5  1863  page 317

By JOHN BRENT, JUN., F.S.A.  continued

bowl, and is ornamented with six garnets set in gold foil on a projecting socket of silver of a crescent form, which ends at each point in a rude head of a bird or serpent. The bowl is of silver, washed with gold, and is riveted to the handle with a small round-headed stud, close to which is a hole, apparently for another. The centre of the bowl is pierced with nine little circular holes, arranged in the form of a cross: the small number of these seems to preclude the use of the spoon as a strainer, although it might well be employed for the aspersion of water, or other fluid required in sacrificial rites.
   The Crystal Ball (Plate I., fig. 7.)—This most interesting relic is, I believe, the largest crystal ever found in a grave. Its diameter is nearly two inches and a half, and its weight within fifteen grains of ten ounces avoirdupois. It is girt with two flat bands of silver-gilt, about a third of an inch in width, embossed in parallel lines, three towards each edge, and a broader one in the centre. The bands cross each other 

 underneath it, and meet again at the top in a sort of circular turret, through which runs a large ring of silver-wire, eight inches and a quarter in circumference, by which the ball was suspended. To this ring, as in the example given by Douglas1 of a smaller ball, thus mounted, found on Chatham Lines in 1782, another similar ring has probably been attached, the fragments of which were found beside it.2
   These crystal balls are not uncommonly found in our
1. ‘Nenia Britannica,’ p. 14. Etc.
2. [ Two other mounted crystals, in all respects resembling this, were taken by Mr. Hillier from Saxon graves on Chessell Down, in the Isle of Wight, and with one of them was found a perforated spoon, as with this grave. Douglas is not very convincing in his arguments to prove that the crystal and spoon, as well as the shears and glass vessel, with which, as in this grave, they are sometimes accompanied, were connected with magical rites; and the better opinion seems to be that of Mr. Roach Smith, who assigns them to ordinary uses. The ring which suspends this ball of ours – and its broken companion, if we may judge by the fragments – are, as

Page 317  (This page prepared for the Website by Christine Pantrey)             

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