KENT-0FF983: Small long anglo-saxon copper-alloy brooch with curly tail

Rights Holder: Kent County Council
CC License:

Image use policy

Our images can be used under a CC BY attribution licence (unless stated otherwise).


Unique ID: KENT-0FF983

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A copper-alloy near complete early Anglo-Saxon small-long brooch, with unusual foot. The brooch has a small regular rectangular head, undecorated and with two evenly spaced large rivet holes blocked with iron corrosion. These have been used to attach a separate copper-alloy plate, perhaps a repair for a broken spring.

The steeply arched, long narrow bow has a fairly long rectangular-section panel at both top and bottom. The top panel is decorated at its top with a set of three closely spaced incised parallel transverse grooves. There are traces of more transverse grooves partially visible through corrosion at the other end of this panel, about 5mm further down. Below this panel the bow is C-shaped in cross-section, convex on the front and deeply concave on the reverse. The lower rectangular-section panel is decorated with a set of six incised lines just above where it joins the foot.

The foot is long and thin, starting with a flat panel decorated with more incised transverse lines, probably again three at the top and three at the bottom. On the reverse is the catchplate has been integrally cast and now heavily abraded. Below is a terminal in the shape of a relief left-facing curl or spiral (to the observer's left, clockwise). The curl has a slight lump at its start, and may be intended to be the beak from a classic Style I bird, with the slight lump perhaps intended to be an eye. The reverse of the probable bird head is a shallow concave shape.

The entire brooch is twisted downward at the head end, mostly pivoting on the point where the bow meets the head.The brooch is a dark grey-green colour with patches of light turquoise and light green. Measurements: 53.01mm long, 17.7mm wide, 19.46mm thick and 8.51g in weight.

Many early Anglo-Saxon cruciform brooches have zoomorphic feet, but mostly rounded or rectangular-nosed animals thought to be horses. This possible bird-beak foot is very unusual and makes it hard to classify the brooch. It should probably be considered with the small-longs and dated to c. 500-550 AD.

Compare DENO-2E23E4 which also has iron rivets on the headplate, probably also a repair.

Class: small long

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Subperiod to: Early
Ascribed Culture: Anglo-Saxon
Date from: Circa AD 450
Date to: Circa AD 550

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 53.01 mm
Width: 17.7 mm
Thickness: 19.46 mm
Weight: 8.51 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Jo Ahmet
Identified by: Mr Jo Ahmet

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

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

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.

Similar objects

Find number: SUR-A853C4
Object type: BROOCH
An Early Medieval copper-alloy small-long brooch. The brooch has a cruciform-type rectangular head with two small side projections, which migh…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: NLM-CAAE05
Object type: BROOCH
Early Anglo-Saxon copper-alloy small-long brooch, head and top of bow missing. It is broken about half way down the arched bow. The foot start…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: FAHG-858AD2
Object type: BROOCH
Fragment of foot from a florid cruciform brooch, partly distorted by heat. The fragment consists of a decorated triangular panel with traces …
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: KENT
Created: 2 years ago
Updated: 8 months ago

Other formats: this page is available as qrcode json xml geojson pdf rdf representations.