SWYOR-863735: Early Medieval square headed brooch with gilding

Rights Holder: West Yorkshire Archaeology Service
CC License:

Rights Holder: West Yorkshire Archaeology Service
CC License:

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Unique ID: SWYOR-863735

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Incomplete early Anglo-Saxon copper-alloy great square-headed brooch dating from the early to mid 6th century. The head and bow of the brooch survive with traces of gilding but the foot plate is missing. The headplate is rectangular, and decorated with an inner panel of complex but unclear chip-carved decoration, perhaps in Style I. The headplate frame is separated from the inner panel by an undecorated ridge which runs right to the edge of the headplate, also delimiting the corners. The frame is decorated with relief circles, four across the top and three on either side. The corners are filled with a human mask of nose and eyes. On the reverse of the head are the remains of a worn double pin bar lug through which the pin bar would have been fitted.

The bow has a raised central rib with a panel of relief decoration on either side. Again the precise motif is unclear, but may have consisted merely of transverse ribbing. The stub of footplate that survives has traces of chip-carved decoration and of gilding.

The brooch weighs 12.58g and measures 36.4mm in length, 27.1mm in width and 11.1mm in thickness.

The relief circles in the headplate frame are reminiscent of the decorative circular perforations in the headplate frames of Hines Group XIII brooches. Two of these, from Little Wilbraham 158 and from Ruskington, also have masks in the corners (Hines 1997, pls. 42b and 43a). Group XIII brooches also have Style I in their headplate central panels, but they do not have relief decoration on the bow.

Class: great square headed

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Subperiod to: Early
Ascribed Culture: Anglo-Saxon
Date from: Circa AD 500
Date to: Circa AD 570

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 34.4 mm
Width: 27.1 mm
Thickness: 11.1 mm
Weight: 12.58 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Thursday 2nd March 2006

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Anna Marshall
Identified by: Ms Anna Marshall
Secondary identifier: Dr Helen Geake

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial metadata

Region: East Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Nottinghamshire (County)
District: Bassetlaw (District)
To be known as: Harworth Bircotes

Spatial coordinates

Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SWYOR
Created: 13 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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