At a sale at Sotheby's on 24th February 1943 of miscellaneous antiquities belonging to Dr. Hugh A. Fawcett, the Christy Trustees purchased on behalf of the British Museum two objects described under lot 117 as ‘an interesting Viking spearhead’ and ‘a long sword with straight quillons and flattened spherical pommel ornamented with bronze, the long blade with parallel grooves running up into the ricasso, 37 in., possibly Viking or later; both from the River Bann, Northern Ireland’.
The spearhead is certainly Viking, but the qualifying words ‘or later’ were a wise proviso in the case of the sword, because a second glance shows that it is very much later in date (pls. XIII and XX, b). In fact it is as near to our own day in point of time as it is to the Vikings. That it happens to belong to an extremely rare and interesting class that has hitherto received little recognition is my excuse for the length of this notice.