KENT-E11753: Early Medieval brooch

Rights Holder: Kent County Council
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Unique ID: KENT-E11753

Object type certainty: Possibly
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

This Brooch is from hoard: KENT-21ED60. See KENT-21ED60 for more details and discussion.

A Plated disc brooch made from silver with gold and cloisonné garnet elements. The brooch is built up on a circular silver backplate, which may have had a gold front plate fixed to it. A low upright silver wall is fixed to the backplate and the join covered externally with a 2mm thick silver wire and internally with a c. 1mm thick beaded gilded-silver wire.

The main field is divided up by five flat-cut garnets set in gilded-silver cells, each shaped like a triangle with the corners cut off and orientated with the apexes inwards. Each garnet is backed with stamped gold foil. In between the five garnet-set cells are five gilded-silver pellets 2.8mm in diameter, and the rest of the space is filled with tiny circles (c. 1.5mm diameter) of beaded gold wire.

In the centre is a ring of eight narrow gilded-silver cells (cloisons), all retaining flat-cut garnets over stamped gold foil; one of the garnets has sunk in its cell. These surround an empty circular cell, 8mm in diameter, which reveals a gold plate beneath. A single flat-cut garnet over stamped gold foil in a gilded-silver cell has been detached, and measures 4.5mm in diameter. The wall of this cell has been nicked and spread on the reverse, probably to hold it in position, and a blackish material can be seen beneath the gold foil on the reverse. This setting was presumably originally fixed in the centre of the brooch and would have been surrounded by a ring of white material (perhaps chalk or shell) that has now entirely decayed.

On the reverse are two lugs with rounded ends set along the diameter of the brooch. One is shorter and perforated to take a pin; the perforation is now blocked with iron corrosion. The other lug is longer, and bent over (to the left in the photograph) to form a catchplate.

Measurements: Diameter: 35.5 mm, Weight: 18.6 g


This appears to be a plated disc brooch of a type particularly associated with Anglo-Saxon Kent, defined by its construction on a silver backplate, the use of filigree decoration and a ring of cloisonné cellwork surrounding a central setting (Avent 1975, pp. 18-19). These brooches have been categorised by Avent (1975), but this example does not fit easily into any of his classes as defined. The cellwork of the central cloisonné ring is far simpler than most known examples, while the alternating sub-triangular cells and silver pellets surrounding this are also not readily paralleled. The use of filigree annulets to fill the ground of the brooch (and interspersed with settings) is, however, well-matched by brooches from Buckland, Dover grave 126 (Avent 1975, no. 163) and Faversham (Avent 1975, no. 165).

Class: plated

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2014T90


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Subperiod to: Early
Date from: Circa AD 570
Date to: Circa AD 600

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Weight: 18.6 g
Diameter: 35.5 mm

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Jennifer Jackson
Identified by: Miss Jennifer Jackson

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2014T90

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Secondary material: Gold
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Inlaid with other or unknown

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Kent (County)
District: Maidstone (District)
To be known as: Near Maidstone

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Generated from computer mapping software
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: KENT
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 5 months ago

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