Object Title

Blade - seax

Blade - seax


10th-11th century

Object Number



Apparently found unnumbered in store; first accessioned (under no. Q.3 or Q3) about 1980 (certainly before opening of old Tower Medieval Gallery). Possibly found in St Albans and possibly formerly owned by someone owned Ball (see Notes).

Physical Description

Iron, single-edged blade with slightly convex forward edge, the last section more sharply curved to meet the slightly concave chipped point. Blade expands towards the point at which chipped point and back meet. The long tang is heavily corroded. Probably found in St. Albans.
in excavated condition, later harshly cleaned with an abrasive wheel.


OverallLength250 mm
OverallWeight62 g
BladeWidth (max)25 mm


Bibliographic References

Dorling Kindersley, Weapon. A visual history of arms & armour, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, London, 2006, p. 50 (col. illus., top).


Formerly Inv. No. Q.3 or Q3. This was an all-purpose implement carried by both men and women. X.1602 is similar. The entry formerly had it as North European, 5th-9th century. The old Tower Medieval Gallery label (about 1980-1995) and had it as probably Anglo-Saxon, about 10th-11th century. The current (at February 2002) Leeds War Gallery label has it as Anglo-Saxon or Germanic, 10th-11th century.
This knife blade, together with X.1602 & 1603, appears to fit on a display board found with X.4612 which bears a label including the words 'from St Albans' and 'Ball' (possibly the owner or donor). The label described all the items from the Saxon period but this has yet to be confirmed in the case of X.4612. For further details see entry for X.4612, under Notes.