KENT-38369C: Jellinge Brooch

Rights Holder: Kent County Council
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Unique ID: KENT-38369C

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

An incomplete cast copper-alloy disc brooch of Scandinavian Jellinge type, dating to the period c. AD 900-1000 (though maybe closer to the first half of the century).

Description: The brooch is of single piece construction consisting of an openwork very slightly convex domed decorative front plate.. The front plate demonstrates decoration in the Jellinge style, of a thin and sinuous beast whose body weaves and intertwines into a broadly S-shape, due to the wear it isn't clear however it appears to be quadruped with legs splayed either side of the sinuous body. On the rear, the backplate demonstrates has a pierced lug slightly aligned off centre with the remains of a catch at the bottom fo the brooch. This apparent misalignment may indicate an original double-lugged pin hinge which isn't uncommon for the period. The brooch is broken in small places either side of the remaining pin lug. It has an uneven mid-light green colour with some active corrosion.

Measurements: 35.3mm in diameter, 10.1mm thick (with pin/catch arrangement, disc 2.1mm thick without) and 7.19g in weight.

Discussion: While these one-piece brooches look superficially similar to a composite type subject to studies by Ingmar Jansson (in Arwidsson 1984), James Graham-Campbell (1985) and Jane Kershaw (2009) they are distinct not only by construction but by motif. The composite types tend to depict their jellinge beasts with double contoured circular bodies while the one-piece type tend to present the beasts as coiled s-shapes. While there has been recent work which seems to point to a south-Scandinavian origin for the composite type (Kershaw 2013, p. 317) the one-piece type is generally just attributed to Scandinavia in general.

Both composite and one-piece types are relatively rare finds to be reported on the PAS database. Other one-piece openwork cast type however are recorded at NMS-05283ELEIC-A30166CAM-9FFFD3 and NMS-E324E1. Though the majority do seem to originate North of the Danelaw division between Anglo-Saxon and Viking controlled areas of England. 

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: Regional importance

Class: Jansson type I A

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Subperiod to: Late
Ascribed Culture: Viking style
Date from: Circa AD 900
Date to: Circa AD 1000

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 10.1 mm
Weight: 7.19 g
Diameter: 35.3 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 29th October 2021

Personal details

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Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Decoration style: Zoomorphic
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Kent (County)
District: Canterbury (District)
Parish or ward: Adisham (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TR2153
Four figure Latitude: 51.23336769
Four figure longitude: 1.16428843
1:25K map: TR2153
1:10K map: TR25SW
Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Graham-Campbell, J. 1985 Two Scandinavian disc brooches of Viking Age date from England London Society of Antiquaries
Jansson, I. 1984 Kleine Rundspangen Birke Kungliga Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien
Kershaw, J. 2009 Culture and Gender in the Danelaw: Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian Brooches - Viking and Medieval Scandinavia

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: KENT
Created: 3 months ago
Updated: 2 months ago

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