NLM7007: Urnes-style brooch

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: NLM7007

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Scandinavian openwork Urnes-style brooch. The decoration consists of a stylised ribbon animal with prominent foreleg, and hindquarters that appear to loop downwards before dividing into two tendril extensions which bifurcate around the main body, which has numerous other tendrils interlacing around it. Some of the latter probably belong to a thread-like snake which appears to cross the main beast's foreleg. Its head is upturned and faces towards the main animal's head. The main creature's head is downward-turned and characterised by a raised ear, elongated almond-shaped eye and open jaws, with a protruding upper lip.
The smoothly tapering lines and multi-loop scheme of this openwork brooch with its dominant stylised animal interlacing with tendril extensions and a probable snake or two identify it with the Scandinavian Urnes style. The interlacing scheme is similar to that of several of the Urnes-style brooches which were mass-produced within Scandinavia.

A workshop for the type has been excavated in Lund (A. W. Mårtensson, Uppgrät förflutet för PKbanken i Lund, Archaeologica Lundensia, 7 (Lund 1976), 207). Excavated finds provide a date range from the mid eleventh century to the mid twelfth. Finds of the type are common in Skåne, and Denmark, particularly Jutland. The Walcott brooch, however, appears to be the only example to have been recovered from the British Isles (although there is an unprovenanced example in the British Museum: accession no. BM 1982,6-2,1). There are very few imported Urnes-style artefacts in England (O. Owen 2001, 'The strange beast that is the English Urnes style', 203-222 in J. Graham-Campbell et al. Vikings and the Danelaw, 205). Such a brooch could well have been used as a model from which Anglo-Scandinavian interpretations of the Urnes style were made.

This brooch is documented in Geake (2004, 240), and Kershaw (2013, 122, cat. no. 494). The image appears to have been lost at some point and has been re-attached from Kershaw 2010.

Class: Urnes style

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Ascribed Culture: Viking
Date from: Circa AD 1050
Date to: Circa AD 1150

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 40.6 mm
Width: 25.5 mm
Thickness: 2.9 mm
Weight: 6.41 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 1st December 2002

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Kurt Adams
Identified by:
Secondary identifier: Dr Jane Kershaw

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Gold
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Fragment
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial metadata

Region: East Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Lincolnshire (County)
District: North Kesteven (District)
To be known as: WALCOTT

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Centred on parish
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NLM
Created: 16 years ago
Updated: 8 months ago

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