WMID-308D55: Late Early Medieval: Incomplete trefoil brooch

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Unique ID: WMID-308D55

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An incomplete copper alloy trefoil plate brooch of Late Early Medieval (Scandiniavian / Viking) dating (AD 850 to AD 1050).

Around two thirds (66%) of the brooch is present, consisting of two of the three arms. The third arm is missing, presumed lost in antiquity. The surviving arms are sub triangular in shape, with a rounded tip. The front is slightly convex and the reverse is flat and undecorated. The front has been decorated with a a triple strand interlace design wrapped around six animals. The animal heads are all positioned in the centre, with three pointing inwards and three pointing outwards. A triangle is present at the centre of the brooch. Traces of gilding survive in the recesses of the design.

Two attachment points are present on the reverse of the brooch. The pin mount which consists of two half-round plates set vertically into one arm; the pin would originally have swivelled between these on another pin or hinge running between the two plates (now lost). Iron corrosion is present between the two plates, and suggests that the pin or a spring was originally made from iron. The other arm has another plate set vertically into the arm which is pierced with an oval perforation, originally to provide another attachment point. The internal dimensions of the oval piercing is 2.8 mm by 2.1 mm.

It measures 48.8 mm in length, 44.3 mm wide and 10.9 mm thick (including pin lugs), 5.4 mm thick (not including pin lugs). It weighs 23.1 g.

The brooch is a mid green colour, with an even surface patina. Traces of gilding survive in the recesses of the design.

Similar trefoil brooches have been recorded on the PAS database as SF-32AB82; LIN-56D731; WILT-9A5AE7 and NMS-56E967.

Kevin Leahy (NFA Post Roman Artefacts) comments that it is a Viking trefoil brooch of Maixner's Type F. These brooches show a mixture of zoomorphic and interlace decoration and are not common; this is the fourth find from England, after an uncertain example from Brigstock (NARC-4A1C66), and older finds from Thetford in Norfolk and Bures Hamlet in Essex (Kershaw 2010, 225).

Find of note status

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

Class: trefoil
Sub class: Maixner type F

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 1050

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 48.8 mm
Width: 44.3 mm
Thickness: 10.9 mm
Weight: 23.1 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Teresa Gilmore
Identified by: Miss Teresa Gilmore
Secondary identifier: Dr Kevin Leahy

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Worcestershire (County)
District: Wyre Forest (District)
Parish or ward: Wolverley and Cookley (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SO8381
Four figure Latitude: 52.42671634
Four figure longitude: -2.25143455
1:25K map: SO8381
1:10K map: SO88SW
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Found whilst metal detecting

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WMID
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 4 months ago

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