BERK-6DD561: Early-medieval brooch: Disc brooch (Jewelled imitation)

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BROOCH

Unique ID: BERK-6DD561

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

A worn and incomplete early Anglo-Saxon copper-alloy disc brooch of a type referred to as 'jewelled' or 'keystone garnet', an imitation of a Kentish keystone disc brooch. Avent's (1975) Class 2.1.

The brooch has raised cellular decoration on the upper face that comprises a central ring flanked by three triangular or wedge-shaped cells, extending from the central circle and spaced evenly around its circumference. Between these wedges is an indistinct spiral pattern, probably a highly stylised Style I zoomorph. A border of two concentric lines around the outer edge of the brooch encases all the designs. Small patches of gilding survive. On the reverse of the brooch the pin lug and the catch-plate survive, albeit in a corroded form. The pin is missing. There is no decoration on the reverse and if it was gilded no trace survives. One small edge of the brooch is damaged and bent.

Several examples with a similar decorative style (of a central circle and three wedge-shaped projections) are illustrated in Macgregor & Bolick (1993:70-73) although the majority are silver gilt. Where it survives, the central circular cell in these examples is often filled with a white material (possibly shell or coral), with the wedges encasing garnets. These were obviously expensive brooches and it is not surprising that cheaper versions were made; unfortunately no material survives in any of the cells on this example but other copper examples recorded on the PAS database do retain some of their settings (see, for example, HAMP-9B6151). The materials are glass (usually red) or possibly poor quality garnets with unidentified white material in the centre. One copper alloy example illustrated in Macgregor & Bolick (ibid. p76 no.6.23) exhibits yellow glass settings in three tear-shaped cells. It is likely that this Berkshire example contained glass settings rather than garnets.

This brooch is a clear copy of those made in Kent in the second quarter of the 6th century. Two others recorded from Wiltshire and Hampshire have been dated to c.530-570. For other examples recorded on this database please see CAM-274762, HAMP-9B6151, WILT-F561A1, WILT-6F2B84 and BUC-4B3412. See also IOW-A33D42, IOW-C938C0 and KENT4837.

Find of note status

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

Class: keystone
Sub class: Avent class 2.1

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 530
Date to: Circa AD 570

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 3.4 mm
Weight: 10.4 g
Diameter: 35.82 mm

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Anni Byard
Identified by: Miss Anni Byard

Other reference numbers

Other reference: 2013.942

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Decoration style: Geometric
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)
District: West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Winterbourne (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SU4574
Four figure Latitude: 51.46319107
Four figure longitude: -1.35363239
1:25K map: SU4574
1:10K map: SU47SE
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

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

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