Helmets and animals

A passing thought about the Staffordshire Hoard. The Anglo-Saxons wore metal totemic animals (such as wild boars) on their battle helmets. But today we still sometimes have animals and similar totemic emblems on the front hoods of our cars. Midlands examples would be Jaguar’s big cat (Birmingham); the serpent-like winged B of the Bentley (Crewe); the Dark Ages ship on the Rover cars (Birmingham). Cars could even be understood as the modern equivalent of war helmets — metal status-symbols that protect the body.

This Jaguar marque fan would certainly be instantly recognisable to an Anglo-Saxon, in terms of the blue woad-dyed cloth and the totemic animal and the, er /cough/ “helmet extension” nature of the vehicle…


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