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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 73 - 1959  page 197
The Anglo-Saxon Plane from Sarre. By G.C. Dunning, F.S.A. and W. L. Goodman   continued

   The two parts of the plane are fastened together by three iron rivets, one in front of the slot and two behind it. The rivets pass through holes drilled in the stock and are hammered over bronze plates on its top surface. The front plate is square, and those behind the slot are triangular, with the points facing inwards.
   The front right corner of the base-plate is rounded and burred on the upper surface, showing that the plane had considerable use before being buried in the grave.
   This small and delicately-made plane is clearly a craftsman’s tool, intended for squaring or bevelling the edges of small pieces of wood rather than for planing surfaces. The width of the cutting iron would allow for wood up to ¼ in. thick to be planed. It is, therefore, suggested that the plane was used in finishing strips of wood that were fitted accurately together, such as the sides of work-boxes or caskets, 1 and the staves of buckets.
   Examples of ancient planes are exceedingly rare, and according to Flinders Petrie 2 the plane was a Roman invention. Roman planes are known from Pompeii, Silchester, and the Rhineland, but these are larger than the Sarre plane and were joiner’s tools. In fact the Sarre plane appears to be unique for the Anglo-Saxon period. In lightness of make a closer parallel is provided by the wooden plane in the third-century hoard from Vimose, on the island of Fyen, Denmark.3 This is 10 in. long and 

canoe-shaped, with each end turned inwards in the shape of a bird’s head.
   Planes closer in construction to the Sarre plane are known from the terps of Friesland, and belong to the late Roman and to the late Frankish periods.4 One from Finkum is 6.6 in. long, with a bronze base-plate and a bone stock, and provides a remarkably exact parallel to the Sarre plane. Another plane, from Aalsum, is similar in shape but slightly larger, and is made entirely of wood. These planes, have a hole through the stock as on the Sarre plane. These parallels in Holland suggest that small and delicately-made planes, based on Roman models, were developed in the Teutonic lands at a time when the making of articles from composite strips of wood was particularly in vogue.
   The Sarre plane is in the collection of the Kent Archaeological Society at Maidstone; grateful thanks are due to the Curator, Mr. L. R. A. Grove, F.S.A., for permission to publish it here.
   2  For the reconstruction of a Frankish casket see Germania 31
           (1953), 44.
3  Tools and Weapons (1917), 39.
4  C. Engelhardt, Vimose Eundet (1869), p. 29, Fig. 31.
5  P J. A. Boeles, Friesland tot de elfde eeuw (1951), pp. 202, 
          535,  pls. XXX, 20 and XXXIa, 1.

Page 197  

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