WILT-37D933: Medieval brooch

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BROOCH

Unique ID: WILT-37D933

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Incomplete copper alloy 14th century heart-shaped brooch decorated with gilding and oval collets, originally filled with glass or gem settings (three retain traces of a white adhesive which would have formed a foundation for these). The brooch is missing about a quarter of its frame, and at least one pin (possibly two). The basic frame is D-shaped in section, c. 3.5 - 4.5mm wide and 2mm thick. The collets stand c. 4.5mm proud of the frame. They are c.7mm long, narrowing to 4 or 5mm at the settings, most of which are round or slightly oval and roughly 2mm in diameter. Traces of gilding are to be found on the reverse as well as on the front of the frame. On the surviving section of frame, there are six collets. Two contain large amounts of white material, while the third is only a trace. However this is next to one of the former collets, suggesting all may originally have held it.

The two breaks on the frame occur at what appear to be separate constrictions for two different pins. The edge of the frame itself is finished in both cases and a 1mm wide, 1mm thick projection extends 1.6mm and 0.6mm. However the placing of these two constrictions is curious. The one at the top of the heart, if it is a constriction, is inhibiting the natural symmetry of the object. It would make more sense if this were a join, although why have a removable part of the brooch. The second constriction which is on one of the angled sides would not enable the pin to hang sufficiently well, especially if expected to rest between two collets - gravity would come into force and it may well slip down. So could this be another join for the missing piece? But again, why? Probably a more likely explanation is that the shape is not an entirely symmetrical heart. James Robinson, Curator of Late Medieval Collections at the British Museum, comments "Brooches with two pins do occur occasionally in the medieval period and maybe that is what this represents." Measures 38.5x30mm and weighs 7.65g. Compare a similar complete brooch from Hindringham, Norfolk, NMS-32C563.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Chronology

Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: AD 1301
Date to: AD 1400

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 38.5 mm
Width: 30 mm
Weight: 7.65 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 1st April 2006

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Katie Hinds
Identified by: Ms Katie Hinds
Secondary identifier: James Robinson

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Buckinghamshire (County)
District: Aylesbury Vale (District)
Parish or ward: Oakley (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SU5650
Four figure Latitude: 51.246432
Four figure longitude: -1.199077
1:25K map: SU5650
1:10K map: SU55SE
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WILT
Created: Tuesday 11th July 2006
Updated: Thursday 21st January 2016

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