Ashmolean Museum Oxford

Alfred Jewel Pendant Necklace

by The Bill Skinner Studio


Designed and crafted by the Bill Skinner Studio, this eye catching gold pendant necklace includes a perfect replica of the Alfred Jewel, the royal relic that sits at the very heart of the Ashmolean Museum’s collection.

Made of 14K gold plated brass, this attractive necklace consists of a delicate twisted gold chain with a pendant designed as a perfect replica of the Alfred Jewel, a piece believed to have been commissioned by 9th century Anglo Saxon king Alfred the Great. The hand enamelled design at the centre of the pendant is precisely copied from the original jewel, featuring a figure thought by historians to represent sight. In addition to the gold dragon’s head taken from the Alfred Jewel itself, this necklace features a luxury freshwater pearl, the ideal finishing touch to a beautiful piece suitable for special occasions or for day to day wear.

The perfect gift for fans of Anglo Saxon history, the Alfred Jewel necklace includes the openwork inscription ‘AELFRED MEC HEHT GEWYRCAN’ which translates to ‘Alfred ordered me to be made’, a detail on the original Alfred Jewel that confirms its close links to King Alfred the Great who ruled during the period 871 to 899 AD. Fastened securely with a lobster clasp, this approximately 23cm long pendant necklace is a striking addition to any outfit and will also look great worn with other chains or pendants for a fashionable layered look. A unique addition to any jewellery box, the Alfred Jewel necklace is made by celebrated artisan jewellery designer Bill Skinner and is available to buy only through the Ashmolean Museum shop.

Dating back to the 9th century AD, the Alfred Jewel, discovered in a Somerset field in 1693, is one of the most famous and beloved possessions in the Ashmolean Museum’s collection. Made of cloisonné enamel and quartz, or rock crystal, the jewel is encased in intricately filigreed gold finished with what is thought to be a dragon’s head. After many years of discussion amongst historians, it’s now generally accepted that the jewel was part of an aestel, or pointer, a tool used for following the religious texts ordered to be translated from Latin to Anglo Saxon by Alfred the Great himself, a learned regent credited with repelling the Vikings and uniting Southern England. As useful as it is decorative, the Alfred Jewel likely held a wood or ivory pointer and may have been distributed alongside the texts which were painstakingly translated at the behest of our only ‘Great’ monarch.

Exclusive to the Ashmolean Museum.

Materials: 14k gold plated brass, hand enamelled with fresh water pearl.

Dimensions: Full hanging length measures approx. 23cm long. Pendant measures approx. 3cm.