FAKL-BD0AB1: Early Medieval brooch, Great Square Headed

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: FAKL-BD0AB1

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Fragment of a gilt, cast copper alloy square headed brooch with crude Style I decoration. Brooch terminated by an ancient fracture on the line of the lappets. Head rectangular with concave edges each marked by a row of billets, the lines of billets are separated by three plain bands which meet at a 45 degree angle. In the centre of the head plate is a panel of Style I decoration, some zoomorphic feature can be identified but this panel is generally incoherent. The bow is marked by a central rib and two lateral ribs separated by longitudinal grooves. It is likely that the lappets were decorated with eagles' heads but no detail survives, all that can be seen are curving bands of ladder-like billets. Gilding is restricted to the face and only survives in recessed areas. The decoration appears incised, but may have been cut into the mould rather than a casting. It is crude with poor symmetry. On the back of the brooch are two lugs which held the coiled spring and a catch plate.


It has prooved impossible to place this brooch into one of Hines' classes of Great Square Headed Brooches. Some parallels may be drawn with the example from Barrington A, Cambridgeshire (Hines 1997, p, 320, Pl. 101a) although the Leasingham find is much more stylised. The Barrington brooch was itself unclassified. This brooch is an interesting example of what appears to be an unaccomplished metalworker attempting something which was beyond his abilities.

Subsequent to the initial record the foot of this brooch was found on the site (2014) and the image replaced with one showing the complete brooch.

Class: Great Square Headed

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Subperiod to: Early
Ascribed Culture: Anglo-Saxon
Date from: Circa AD 470
Date to: Circa AD 550

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 69.1 mm
Width: 50.7 mm
Thickness: 3.8 mm
Weight: 59.36 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Kevin Leahy
Identified by: Dr Kevin Leahy

Other reference numbers

Other reference: 397

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

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

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: FAKL
Created: 7 years ago
Updated: 3 years ago

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