Object Title

Blade - Seax

Blade - Seax


5th - 9th century

Object Number



Possibly found in St Albans and possibly formerly owned by someone called Ball (see Notes).

Physical Description

Iron, single-edged blade with concave forward edge and chipped point, and convex back. Short tang, corroded. Blade harshly cleaned with abrasive wheel. Probably from St. Albans.





OverallLength192 mm
OverallWeight56 g
BladeWidth25 mm

Inscriptions and Marks



Bibliographic References

Dorling Kindersley, Weapon. A visual history of arms & armour, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, London, 2006, p. 50 (col. illus., 2nd from top).


Formerly Inv. No. Q.2 or Q2. This is an all-purpose implement of a type that was carried by both men and women. X.1603 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 Self Defence Gallery label followed the old inventory entry. The current (at February 2002) Leeds War Gallery label for the similar X.1603 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.