WMID-3CA8B1: Early medieval gilded copper-alloy cloisonné enamel disk brooch

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
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Unique ID: WMID-3CA8B1

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

A gilded copper-alloy cloisonné brooch dating from the late Early Medieval period. The brooch is incomplete but is clearly of a type of cloisonné enamel brooch that was popular in England during the late tenth and early eleventh centuries AD. As it is incomplete it is a little difficult to determine for certain whether it falls within the flanged 'Colchester' type or the the lobed 'Saunderton' type of brooch (as distinguised by David Buckton in 'Late 10th and IIth century cloisonné enamel brooches' Medieval Archaeol 30, 1986, 8-18). The flat reverse and the damaged edges, which perhaps retain the remnants of projecting lobes, suggest that it is of the latter type. Traces of gilding remain on the front and reverse of the brooch. The remnants of the hinge and catchplate are visible on the reverse although both are broken and only the lugs remain. They are not clearly orientated with respect to the enameled design on the front. What remains of the gilded copper-alloy plate measures 18.4 mm in diameter and 4.11 mm thick. The enamel centre piece measures 15 mm in diameter. The object weighs 2.9 grams.

The cloisonné enameled centre piece is contained by a low thin gilded copper-alloy collar. Although damaged and incomplete the design is discernable as having four rough double step cells of dark blue spaced out around its perimeter, leaving a wavy equal-armed cross in the centre, executed in opaque pale blue. Similar examples of this type of double step/cross design are illustrated in Buckton 1986, Figs 4.11 and 5.14. and in ESS-BD2421 and NLM-4EF8E5 recorded on this database.

Buckton describes the double step motif as 'a Leitmotiv of Middle Byzantine and Ottonian cloisonné
enamel, starting with the reliquary of the True Cross made in Constantinople, probably between 963 and 985, and now in the cathedral treasury at Limburg an der Lahn and, in the West, with the so-called first Mathilde cross, made between 973 and 982, in the cathedral treasury at Essen' (Buckton 1986, 16). He goes on to note how 'even though the motif had had a longer tradition in other media, its appearance in English cloisonné enamel is difficult to relate to anything other than Byzantine or Ottonian enamel of the last third of the 10th century and the first half of the 11th' (Buckton 1986, 16).

Find of note status

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

Class: cloisonné enamelled (Weetch Type 20)
Sub class: Saunderton type (Weetch Type 20.A) (probably)

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 950
Date to: Circa AD 1050

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 4.11 mm
Weight: 2.9 g
Diameter: 18.4 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 1st October 2010 - Tuesday 31st August 2010

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Tom Brindle
Identified by: Dr Tom Brindle
Secondary identifier: Ms Laura Burnett

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Enamel
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Warwickshire (County)
District: Stratford-on-Avon (District)
Parish or ward: Newbold Pacey (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SP2957
Four figure Latitude: 52.210462
Four figure longitude: -1.577007
1:25K map: SP2957
1:10K map: SP25NE
Grid reference source: From finder
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: WMID
Created: 7 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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