The photo on the cover of ‘Yours is a Dangerous Inheritance’ is of an extraordinary replica of the ‘Gilling sword’, made by swordsmith Patrick Barta, with the photo taken by Tomas Man.
Patrick Barta makes highly detailed replicas of many styles of sword and weaponry, each of a very high quality of workmanship. He works with museums and academic institutions, both making detailed replicas and working on conservation of original weapons.
The Gilling sword was found near Gilling West, Richmond, North Yorkshire in 1976 and is now in the Yorkshire Museum in York. It is dated to the 9th century. It is of just the period of Alfred, and is the the type of sword that a King would have used for ceremonial purposes. It is quite possible that Alfred held one just like this: