IOW-BDF9A5: Early-Medieval (Anglo-Saxon) Button Brooch

Rights Holder: Isle of Wight Council
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BROOCH

Unique ID: IOW-BDF9A5

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

An incomplete cast copper-alloy gilt button brooch (Avent & Evison class Iii) of Early-Medieval (Anglo-Saxon) date (c. 450-c. 550). Parts of the rim are missing due to old breaks. The pin lug, although complete, is obscured by iron corrosion and the catch-plate is almost complete. The pin is missing. This brooch is circular in plan with an upwards flaring saucer-like rim. At the centre of the brooch there is a moulded anthropomorphic forward facing mask which has prominent and well defined features. The upper half of the mask is in the form of sixteen vertical ridges that represent hair with a horizontal fringe. The horizontal eye-brows divide the hair from the facial features. The triangular nose forms a single entity integral with the horizontal eyebrows. At each side of the sub-triangular eyes two curving ridges form cheeks. The mouth is symmetrical. It is narrow at the centre but widens at each end. It is possible that the upper part of the mouth may represent a moustache curled down at the ends. The rear face of the plate is corroded and slightly convex. The pin lug, roughly 'D'-shaped in side view. With the face mask at 12' o' clock, the lug is also at 12 o' clock and the catch-plate is at 6 o' clock. This brooch is slightly corroded in places and most of the gilding on the front has survived. There is no evidence for melting or burning. 18.4 x 16.9 x 9.0mm. Weight: 3.68g. A button brooch with a similar style face has been recorded from Arreton Parish, Isle of Wight. See, Portable Antiquities Scheme find: IOW-2E59F6. Button brooches are distinguished by their small size and by the anthropomorphic face-masks which they feature. They may have been used in different ways as dress fasteners. It is thought that they may have been used singly rather than in pairs like the similar but larger saucer brooches. Button brooches are found throughout much of southern England and date between the later fifth and mid-sixth centuries. Avent, R and Evison, V, 1982, 'Anglo-Saxon button brooches', Journal of the Society of Antiquaries. 86, fig. 8, ref. Iii.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: Regional importance

Class: button
Sub class: Suzuki class I2

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Chronology

Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod to: Early
Period to: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Ascribed Culture: Anglo-Saxon
Date from: Circa AD 450
Date to: Circa AD 550

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 18.4 mm
Width: 16.9 mm
Thickness: 9 mm
Weight: 3.68 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 21st November 2010

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Frank Basford
Identified by: Mr Frank Basford

Other reference numbers

Other reference: IOW2010-2-544

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Iron
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Isle of Wight

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
Discovery circumstances: Club rally
General landuse: Grassland, Heathland
Specific landuse: Regularly improved

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: IOW
Created: 8 years ago
Updated: 5 months ago

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