Strap ends have been used since Roman times to prevent the fraying of belts and straps, and to help weigh the items down as can be seen in the illustrative example of the red belt above . Typically made from copper or copper alloy (as is this piece) - they are occasionally found made of silver or gold.
The metalsmiths of the Saxon and Viking periods excelled in the manufacture of strap ends. Decorating them with fantastical beasts and stylised Anglo-Saxon art - their types and morphology are extremely varied. In fact, here you can read an entire PhD thesis on the many different types of early Medieval strap end.
This particular piece is a bronze strap end dating from the 8th or 9th centuries A.D, and displays the classic chip-carved geometric decoration of Anglo-Saxon Britain. The strap end is pierced with attachment holes - the rivets now lost to antiquity. It is around 5cm in length.
An unusual historical artefact, now available in the Timeless Galleries
SAXON STRAP END
Formerly part of a collection formed in the late 1960s - early 1970s.