KENT-9E17A0: Disc brooch

Rights Holder: Kent County Council
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Unique ID: KENT-9E17A0

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

An incomplete Early-Medieval (Anglo-Saxon) cast and incised copper-alloy disc brooch possibly of 11th century date.

Description: The brooch plate is flat and circular with a raised central boss and incised decoration on the front. The boss is flat-topped and incised with a single ring-and-dot motif. The plate is divided into four quadrants by groups of four parallel lines radiating froom the central boss creating a cross design. Each quadrant contains three ring-and-dot motifs, one in each corner of the section. A single incised line runs inside the edge of the plate forming a narrow border.

The reverse has a pin lug and an incomplete catchplate. The lug is encrusted in a mass of iron corrosion, representing the remains of the pin. There is a small amount of damage to the edge of the plate and a small sliver has broken off.  The front of the brooch has a dull green patina, while the incised decoration has taken on a brown coloration.

Measurements: diameter: 23.99mm; thickness: 3.8mm, (8.5mm including pin lug); weight:4.74g

Discussion: Although incised decoration and the use of ring-and-dot motifs is common on early Anglo-Saxon plate disc broches; the arrangement of radial lines dividing the face into a cross/quadrants and the raised boss is not. This example is also smaller than the type as defined by MacGregor and Bolick's catalogue (1993. 57). They note a remarkable uniformity of size (average diameter 3.6cm) with only three of their 67 examples being recorded as under 30mm in diameter (ibid).

It is therefore more likely to relate to another discoidal type classified by Weetch (73-75, 2014) as Class 4a. This type is heavily varied both in form and material, with copper-alloy, lead and even scarce silver examples known. "What unifies the class is their use of a central straight-armed cross motif with a border" (ibid.). Other features occur on some, including bosses. Examples discovered from sealed archaeological contexts, genarlly lead examples have been dated to the 11th century.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: Include in MedArch

Class: Disc brooch with cross motifs
Sub class: Weetch type 4a

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Subperiod to: Late
Date from: Circa AD 1000
Date to: Circa AD 1100

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 8.5 mm
Weight: 4.74 g
Diameter: 23.99 mm

Personal details

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Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Iron
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Incised or engraved or chased

Spatial metadata

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

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TR2764
Four figure Latitude: 51.32976475
Four figure longitude: 1.25707097
1:25K map: TR2764
1:10K map: TR26SE
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
MacGregor, A. and Bolick, E. 1993 A summary catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon collections (non-ferrous metals), Ashmolean Museum, Oxford Oxford Tempvs Reparatum P. 64, nos: 4.42-4.44)
Weetch, R. 2014 Brooches in Late Anglo-Saxon England within a North West European context: A study of social identities between the eighth and eleventh centuries Reading Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: KENT
Created: About one month ago
Updated: About one month ago

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