This is an intricate replica of the famous Sutton Hoo helmet, made out of LEGO. It was created by Andrew and Tilda Webb, a father and daughter from Saffron Walden in Essex, who were inspired by Netflix’s film about the 1939 excavation of the Suffolk site, The Dig (see CA 373).
Made up of more than 1,000 LEGO bricks, the helmet is life-sized and completely wearable. Andrew and Tilda tried to replicate the original helmet as closely as possible, right down to the golden dragon motif above the eyes and the use of transparent bricks to represent gems.The choice of LEGO as the pair’s building material seems particularly apt as the real artefact, which had been placed in the 7th-century Mound 1 ship-burial, was found in hundreds of fragments that had to be painstakingly pieced back together by British Museum conservator Nigel Williams.
Andrew and Tilda now want to make their helmet into an official LEGO set. They have registered their creation on the LEGO Ideas website and are asking for support from the public: if their design receives 10,000 votes it could become an official set. To make their dream a reality, and allow thousands of children to explore Britain’s history through LEGO, simply visit http://bit.ly/LEGOSuttonHoo to register and vote.
Commenting on their initiative, Andrew said: ‘The helmet is one of Britain’s most important artefacts, and its ancient and recent history is such an inspirational story. We really need the public’s help to make the LEGO Sutton Hoo helmet an official LEGO set that anyone can buy and build. Registering takes seconds, so if you love history and LEGO then you should support this set!’
Andrew will be giving a talk about the making of the helmet at The Hold in Ipswich on 22 July. For more information visit: http://www.suffolkarchives.co.uk/public-events-programme/talks/brick-history-talk-a-labour-of-love-in-lego/.
Text K Krakowka
Images Celia Bartlett Photography
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