LEIC-E7A016: Early Medieval copper alloy brooch

Rights Holder: Leicestershire County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Leicestershire County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Leicestershire County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Leicestershire County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Leicestershire County Council
CC License:

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Unique ID: LEIC-E7A016

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Late early-medieval (Scandinavian) copper alloy disc brooch, 26mm in diameter and 3mm thick. The object weighs 8.35 grams and is in a fair, but worn, condition.

The brooch is circular and slightly domed. It has a tinned underside which has the pin lug positioned at 12 o' clock, the catch plate opposite (6 o'clock) and a smaller lug at 4 o'clock. The pin lug is incomplete and consists of two parallel rectangular projections (2mm deep) aligned perpendicular to the edge. The smaller lug has a similar alignment, but is formed of one incomplete rectangular protrusion with a central curved recess (incomplete circular hole) and traces of iron pins protruding, perhaps suggesting that it has been riveted on. The catch plate remains as a rectangular piece of attached? copper alloy which has a patch of iron staining down its right side.

The surface of the brooch is worn, and consists of a Borre-style tripartite design around a central circular boss (possibly silvered, but probably just worn to a shiny surface). It appears to show three animals which have sub-triangular bodies, with a now-missing dot in the angle for an eye. Each has a long curving snout, two linear protrusions at the 'hip' which extend into the brooches border and a spiral shaped rear leg. The animals are entwined by the snout, which rests on the neck/body of the previous creature, and the spiral rear leg, which encircles the snout of the one behind.

There is linear gilding with transverse indents forming pseudo-filigree in place, along the edges of the creatures and other small traces of gilding suggest it once covered the whole object.

Jane Kershaw has confirmed the object's Scandinavian origin and has identified a pendant from Akenham, Suffolk as a parallel (illustration; published in Kershaw 2013, 60, fig. 3.18). She confirms that the brooch is probably Danish, and dates to the late 9th or early 10th century. In addition she has found a Danish parallel, in the form of a lead model from Gudme (see photo). Both are extremely similar to this brooch, with the exception of the central circular device on the Leics. example.

I am very grateful to Jane for the ID and for providing images (these remain her copyright and are reproduced with permission).

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Class: disc

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Subperiod to: Late
Ascribed Culture: Viking
Date from: Circa AD 850
Date to: Circa AD 950

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 3 mm
Weight: 8.35 g
Diameter: 26 mm

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Wendy Scott
Identified by: Wendy Scott
Secondary identifier: Dr Jane Kershaw

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Fragment
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial metadata

Region: East Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Leicestershire (County)
District: Charnwood (District)
Parish or ward: Cossington (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SK6113
Four figure Latitude: 52.711234
Four figure longitude: -1.098517
1:25K map: SK6113
1:10K map: SK61SW
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LEIC
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: About one month ago

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