SF-770321: Anglo-Saxon equal armed brooch

Rights Holder: Suffolk County Council
CC License:


Rights Holder: Suffolk County Council
CC License:

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BROOCH

Unique ID: SF-770321

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An incomplete cast copper-alloy wide equal-armed brooch of Early Anglo-Saxon date, in two joining fragments due to old breaks. Part of one incomplete arm, the bow and a small fragment of the second arm survive, the remainder now missing due to old breaks. The surviving arm is sub-rectangular in form and oval in section with elaborate moulded and gilded decoration particularly on the front face. The outer edge of the arm has a wide border with pairs of opposing diagonal notches and one surviving oval aperture towards the complete end. At the end there is an incomplete oval aperture and perhaps further notches or chip carved decoration at the lower edge close to the bow, but the precise form this took is uncertain due to old breaks. On the front of the arm there is a border formed from double parallel grooves that create a trapezoidal panel within which are continuous scroll and spiral motifs. The back face of the head preserves the remains of an integral semi-circular pin lug, missing its outer edge due to old breaks, the second lug now missing due to old breaks. At the base of the head extends the integral bow. This is rectangular in form with a steeply curved profile and extensive chip carved and gilded decoration. At the top of the bow each side has diagonal mouldings that run from the arm to the bow and have the remains of now incomplete openwork decoration. The bow itself has projecting ribs running down each side between which are scroll or spiral motifs. At the centre of the bow is an additional decorative element formed from a now incomplete mount that sits between the projecting ribs. This has moulded and gilded decoration formed from a central transverse band of four pellets between transverse grooves, with incomplete openwork decoration above and below. The central mount is held in place by a rivet that is visible on the back face of the bow and perhaps indicates later modification. At the base of the bow are the remains of the second arm. Only a small semi-circular fragment of this arm survives, the remainder now missing due to old breaks. It has a double transverse border at the top, beneath which appears to be symmetrical opposing spiral or scroll motifs either side of a central conical motif. The precise form of the decoration on this arm is uncertain due to old breaks. Traces of a rectangular catchplate are perhaps evident on the back face of the second arm, but this is mostly missing due to old breaks. The entire front face has a relatively thickly applied gilding that is worn in places and has a pinkish gold colour. The back face has extensive corrosion and some possible iron staining, with the suggestion that it may have been exposed to high temperatures. This brooch measures 52.34mm in length, 51.27mm in width (at arm, 18.37mm at bow), 5.76mm in thickness at bow, 2.56mm in thickness at arm, and 27.58g in weight.

This is an incomplete wide equal-armed brooch of Early Anglo-Saxon date. Similar examples have been recorded through the PAS (e.g. NMS-647B60 and FASW-948D00) and in a published example from Westgarth Gardens (Penn and Brugmann, 2007: pp. 24, 70, Fig. 5.21). These suggest a 5th century AD date for the current example, perhaps c.450-480 AD if not slightly earlier.

Class: wide equal arm

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
Date from: Circa AD 450
Date to: Circa AD 480

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 52.34 mm
Width: 51.27 mm
Thickness: 5.76 mm
Weight: 27.58 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 1st November 2013

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Andrew Brown
Identified by: Dr Andrew Brown

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Suffolk (County)
District: Mid Suffolk (District)
To be known as: Beyton

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

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SF
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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