DENO-4EF591: Early medieval, Saxon cruciform brooch (bow detail)

Rights Holder: Derby Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Derby Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Derby Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Derby Museums Trust
CC License:

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Unique ID: DENO-4EF591

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

Early Medieval brooch; Anglo-Saxon cast copper alloy cruciform brooch with extensive gilding and the remains of applied silver sheet. Dated to the late 6th century by its elaborate design and the use of the Bichrome Style. Currently in two fragments as the top knob has broken away from the head plate. The brooch has integrally cast top and side knobs, together with small lappets beneath the bow and a broad, elaborate foot. Each of the top and side knobs is broadly rectangular with pointed extensions on either side around the middle of the knob. The three knobs each take the form of a face mask with prominent eyes, cheek-bones and curls out to the sides of the eyes suggesting ears or moustaches (these curls form the extensions to the sides of the knobs). The knobs end with a broad, flat, sub-rectangular plate which would originally have held applied sheet silver. The collar between each knob and the head-plate is decorated with a hatched band. The head-plate is roughly square with a continuous undecorated gilt band around the sides and top, then central abstract square design. The arched bow has a rectangular stud in relief in its centre, although this is now quite worn. The field below the bow is roughly square and decorated with another abstract square design, different from the design in the centre of the head plate. The field has a narrow, rectangular lappet to either side, with a plain collar joining the lappet to the brooch. Beneath the square field below the bow there is a design of two circles which may represent the eyes of another face mask. The foot of the brooch flares out beneath these eyes for form a large, curling extension on either side of the brooch, which may represent elaborate curled moustaches. The gap between the two extensions has a bell-shaped field of abstract decoration. The very bottom of the foot is another broad, flat, sub-rectangular plate. The whole front of the brooch has remains of gilding picking out the decoration. Much of the applied silver sheet remains on the panel at the edge of the top knob and remains of a similar appliqué can be seen on both the side knobs and the right-hand lappet. It is presumed that all of the undecorated sections would have been similarly applied, thus giving the distinctive Bichrome Style. The back of the brooch is flat and undecorated with the fixing for the pin hinge around the centre of the head-plate. The fixing takes the form of two parallel, rounded lugs, each pierced with a small, circular hole. The remains of the catch-plate are still present between the lappets below the bow. The catch-plate continues with a cast ridge running down the foot of the brooch. Extensive rust-coloured corrosion around the hinge area suggests that the pin was made of iron, which has now corroded away. The area near the foot has been bent out, curving up towards the front. Length (complete brooch) 155.4mm, length (larger fragment) 117.6mm, length (smaller fragment) 37.9mm, width (at side-knobs) 90.1mm, width (at lappets) 43.1mm, thickness (inc bow) 13.1mm, thickness (plate) 3.8mm, weight 144.1g This brooch is almost identical to another brooch found elsewhere in Nottinghamshire and recorded on the database as DENO-2AB607.

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Class: cruciform

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Ascribed Culture:
Date from: Circa AD 550
Date to: AD 600

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 155.4 mm
Width: 90.1 mm
Thickness: 13.1 mm
Weight: 144.1 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 12th November 2007

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Anja Rohde
Identified by: Miss Anja Rohde

Other reference numbers

Other reference: DERBY E5946

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Silver
Manufacture method: Cast
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: Treswell Area

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 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: DENO
Created: 11 years ago
Updated: 3 years ago

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