Dragon Stone - Plate 1

Andreas, Isle of Man, Cross Slab

Second half of 10th Century

Andreas SlabAndreas is a cross slab, eroded near the base where a helmeted figure can be seen stabbing a section of a complex interlace dragon. This extends up to where the same rather lumpy helmeted figure is bending over a fire, comprising three triangular flames on a rectangular band, perhaps a hearthstone, and holding a spit with three rings of meat, interpreted as pieces of the dragon’s heart. The head of an animal, probably the horse, Grani, and the head of a bird can be seen leaning over behind Sigurd. Another face of this stone shows Gunnar in the snake pit, an image from his death after he had killed Sigurd. The interlace that comprises the dragon’s body is ornamental, the bands being flat and unadorned except for either one or two lines running parallel with the edge of the body. The beast is more reminiscent of the Jellinge style than any other, although this is difficult to determine because there is only a fragment remaining. The whole arrangement extends along the left side of the panel, outside the cross shaft, with three complicated dragons on the shaft itself. A flat circle links the cross head.

Cross Slab, Andreas, Isle of Man.
Reproduced from the Art of the Manx Crosses with permission from the Manx Museum

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