NMGW-3E31B4: Early Medieval gold brooch inlay

Rights Holder: National Museum Wales
CC License: All Rights Reserved

Rights Holder: National Museum Wales
CC License: All Rights Reserved

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Unique ID: NMGW-3E31B4

Object type certainty: Probably
Workflow status: Published Find published

The mount comprises a gold baseplate, slightly crumpled, cut to a curved tapering form with a straight wide end, to fit the recessed cell of a (now missing) gilt bronze or silver penannular or pseudo-penannular brooch. The outer face of the baseplate is decorated with a spherical blue glass bead set in a gold collar, and a pattern of S- and Z-scrolls delineated by beaded wire (filigree) and other motifs (C-scrolls with central scrolled stems) within a plain beaded wire border. To one side of the bead is a now empty rectangular collet.

The overall length of the base-plate is 22.5mm; the width at one end 9.8mm; the bead diameter 3.2 x 2.7mm; the weight 0.77g.

The combination of form, filigree and bead identifies the mount as early medieval, and the shape of the decorative inlay is identical to that found on penannular or pseudo-penannular brooches of the eighth century. Examples in copper alloy, with recesses on expanded spatulate terminal, include one from Llandewi Castle, Gower (early eighth century; Redknap 2009, fig. 13.10a), and a brooch terminal recessed a now missing gold inlay, found during the excavations at the early medieval centre at Llanbedrgoch on Anglesey. The combination of blue glass bead and simple gold filigree soldered to a gold base plate recalls the simple filigree decoration around a blue glass bead on the terminals of the eighth- or ninth-century silver gilt penannular brooch from Newton Moor (Redknap 2009, fig. 13.8, d). The form of the decorative wire is found on Insular filigree, as is the beaded wire type of filigree, thought the technique is widespread, occurring on Classical and Anglo-Saxon metalwork (to name but two).

The form, decoration and above parallels for the Llanarmon-yn-Iâl mount suggest an eighth-century date. Eventual cleaning and conservation may clarify whether apparent stylistic variations from the norms indicate that it is a product of a British workshop.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2014TW19


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Middle
Subperiod to: Middle
Date from: Circa AD 700
Date to: Circa AD 800

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 22.5 mm
Width: 9.8 mm
Weight: 0.77 g
Diameter: 3.2 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 1st August 2014

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2014TW19

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Secondary material: Glass
Completeness: Fragment

Spatial metadata

Region: Wales (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Denbighshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Denbighshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Llanarmon-yn-Ial (Community)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SJ2058
Four figure Latitude: 53.11315994
Four figure longitude: -3.19663565
1:25K map: SJ2058
1:10K map: SJ25NW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Other chance find
Current location: Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NMGW
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 4 years ago

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