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Rune Monuments - Page 3 of 4

     

The Franks Casket
Perhaps Britain's most important rune relic. It is named after Sir Augustus Franks who brought it (or at least - most of it) back to Britain. It is made of whalebone and exquisitely carved on all surfaces.

It dates from the 7th Century and tells its story in both runes and Roman script.
 

The picture below shows the front panel. On the left is a scene from the Pagan folktale of Wayland the Smith, and on the right the Christian Adoration of the Magi. You can see the word MAGI written in as Mannaz-Ansuz-Gebo-Isa just above the three kings and to the left of the Star of the East.

The top is carved with a battle scene showing Aegli the Archer defending his stronghold. Another scene depicts Emperor Titus capturing Jerusalem. The side pictured below shows Romulus and Remus being suckled by the she-wolf.

The fourth side tells how the whale - from whose bone the casket is made - was found beached after a storm.

The language used is Northumbrian Anglo-Saxon which pins the point of origin down to Yorkshire, Durham or Northumberland in the North of England.

All but one side of the casket was retrieved in the 19th Century from a French farm where it was in use as a workbox. It is now in the British Museum in London. The original silver clasp and corner posts are missing. The other side was snaffled by an Italian collector and is now in Florence. 

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