BH-8791D5: Medieval open-frame brooch

Rights Holder: St. Albans District Council
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Unique ID: BH-8791D5

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

A copper-alloy open-frame brooch of Medieval date.

The frame is in the form of a heart and is complete and intact. The upper surfaces are convex and the underside is flat. At the centre point of the upper side is the pin constriction, which passes through a hole in the centre of the pin head. This head takes the form of a perforated rectangular plate. A transverse join in the upper surface of the head suggests that this was cast as a pair of open 'jaws' before being squeezed together to secure the pin in place. The lower portion of the head has a transverse ridge in the upper surface and a second on the underside. At this point the two vertical faces have an indented triangle, the width of which tapers downwards, ending a short distance into the shaft. This latter element is of roughly oval section and tapers to a point. The underside of this point is concave, allowing it to sit within a lightly incised vertical pin slot.

The brooch survives in good condition, with little wear or corrosion. Traces of gilding can be seen on both the upper and lower surfaces and also on the pin. The artefact measures 32.6mm long, 26.1mm wide and 6.5mm thick. The weight is 9.09g.

Several other heart-shaped brooches are recorded on the PAS database - see, for example, IOW-58FEA4, NMS-6393E7, BH-6992F7 and LANCUM-EA1096. The suggested date range is 13th to 14th century, which is consistent with the far more common circular open-frame brooches.

Class: Open-frame

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1200
Date to: Circa AD 1400

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 32.6 mm
Width: 26.1 mm
Thickness: 6.5 mm
Weight: 9.09 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 26th September 2009

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Julian Watters
Identified by: Mr Julian Watters

Other reference numbers

Other reference: Ver 10/21 - 79

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Complete
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Hertfordshire (County)
District: North Hertfordshire (District)
To be known as: Baldock

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: BH
Created: 7 years ago
Updated: 7 years ago

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