BH-9F9533: Early-Medieval supporting-arm brooch (incomplete)

Rights Holder: St. Albans District Council
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Unique ID: BH-9F9533

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An incomplete copper-alloy supporting-arm brooch, dating from the Early Anglo-Saxon period (AD c. 420-c. 480).

The top of the bow flares into the head, which has a transversely ridged and grooved upper surface. From either end of the back of the head projects a damaged perforated lug, which together would have held in place the now-missing spring mechanism. The bow is of roughly D-shaped cross-section, a central arris extending down the upper surface. The upper portion, where the sides converge sharply, is decorated in the centre with two grooves forming an inverted V. Most of the rest of the bow is undecorated, the only exception being at the bottom end, where a flat triangular panel bears a pair of transverse grooves. A third such groove marks the sharp transition between the bow and the vertical foot. The foot also has a flattened centre and bevelled edges, then at the very end of the brooch is a flat area decorated with a pair of transverse grooves. A catchplate extends from the reverse of the foot. Its upper edge continues the line of the bow and its lower edge lines up with the bottom of the foot. The catchplate is unperforated, and the rolled outer side is damaged and incomplete.

The surfaces of the brooch are very dark, almost black, in appearance, probably indicating the existence of a corroded white-metal coating. The object measures 43.9mm long, up to 15.4mm wide (head), 18.9mm deep and weighs 11.3g.

Supporting-arm brooches were divided into two types by Bohme (1974) which was then summarised in English by Evison (1977). This example fits into Bohme's Typ Perlberg, with a narrower head.

Class: supporting arm

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Subperiod to: Early
Date from: Circa AD 420
Date to: Circa AD 480

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 43.9 mm
Width: 15.4 mm
Weight: 11.3 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Tuesday 4th October 2011

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Julian Watters
Identified by: Mr Julian Watters
Secondary identifier: Dr Helen Geake

Other reference numbers

Other reference: Ver 11/147 - 3

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Cambridgeshire (County)
District: South Cambridgeshire (District)
To be known as: Heydon

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Generated from computer mapping software
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 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: BH
Created: 7 years ago
Updated: 4 months ago

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