NMS-10A1E1: Late Saxon brooch

Rights Holder: Norfolk County Council
CC License: All Rights Reserved

Rights Holder: Norfolk County Council
CC License: All Rights Reserved

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Unique ID: NMS-10A1E1

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

Late Saxon copper alloy trefoil strap or harness fitting, worn and corroded, cast with simple and rather crude decoration of slight triangular central boss with three dots within incised bordering line, and dot at each point outside line, each foil has deep bordering line and single dot near central boss, reverse of each foil with rectangular scar from missing lugs and traces of iron corrosion, 45mm across, thickness 3mm, weighs 19.28g. This does not have obviously Scandinavian or Anglo-Scandinavian decoration and may be of continental origin. 9th century.

Jane Kershaw has handled this object and comments:

"It is definitely not a brooch, since it is quite heavy and has rectangular lugs on each arm, for attachment to a three-way belt. I think it is best seen as a rare geometric Carolingian baldric mount. I know of just one other comparable find, from Hedeby. All other Carolingian mounts seem to have florid, acanthus decoration instead of the plain, geometric style of this piece. The Hedeby mount is thought to have served as a model for the Scandinavian trefoil brooches with geometric ornament, and I suspect the Wymondham mount served a similar function. It's quite interesting, both because of the rarity of such mounts in England, and also because of the large number of geometric trefoil brooches, particularly from Norfolk."

Another point which might argue for this object being a mount, rather than a brooch, is the fact that all three scars on the reverse are for single lugs rather than the usual double lug which formed the pin hinge on this type of brooch.

Comparable brooches might include WILT-9A5AE7 (Borre-style decoration, scars of three lugs on the reverse, 36g); NMS-56E967 (Borre-style or geometric decoration, three well-preserved lugs on the reverse, no weight recorded); SF-EB5262 (Borre-style decoration, three lugs on the reverse, 24g); and NLM5243 (Borre/Jellinge-style decoration, three lugs on the reverse, 62g).

A comparable mount, but with Carolingian acanthus-leaf decoration, is SF-93D943. This has holes rather than lugs for attachment and weighs 15g.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Middle
Subperiod to: Late
Date from: AD 800
Date to: AD 899

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 45 mm
Thickness: 3 mm
Weight: 19.28 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 1st February 2004

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mrs Erica Darch
Identified by: Mr Steven Ashley

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Norfolk (County)
District: South Norfolk (District)
To be known as: Wymondham

Spatial coordinates

Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 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: NMS
Created: 14 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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