NMS-82BE20: Early Saxon equal-armed brooch

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: NMS-82BE20

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

Early medieval silver equal-armed brooch. The brooch comprises an arched bow linking two wide, roughly-trapezoidal 'arms' with straight outer edges. These edges are decorated with a single incised bordering line inside of which is a row of double half-annulet stamps. The bow is undecorated. On the back is a single pin lug with a copper-alloy axis bar, a double-loop spring with chord and the stump of the pin. The remains of a separate catchplate is attached by solder. The brooch is covered with a thin layer of corrosion product from the copper-alloy pin mechanism.


Equal-arm brooches developed on the Continent and are numerous finds there, particularly in the Elbe-Weser region (Bruns 2003, 1 and map 1; also discussed by Evison 1977, 127-147 and Hines 1984, 253-259). They are rarer in England, although their number is growing with metal-detected finds. The most elaborate types of equal-armed brooch are ornamented with chip-carved decoration, but simpler examples that are broadly comparable with the 'West Norfolk' find have been found in Brandon, Suffolk (Ashmolean Museum, 1992.103; Macgregor and Bolick 1993, no. 18.2), Norfolk (Ashmolean Museum, 1992.104, Macgregor and Bolick 1992, no. 18.3), Newnham, Cambridge (MAA Cambridge, 1892.FB, Hines 1984, fig. 5.8). These examples are decorated with punches along their terminal edges, but their bows are more elaborate. Most known examples are made from copper-alloy, but silver examples are known, for instance an elaborate fragment from the Nene Valley Area, Northamptonshire (PAS database DENO-21EE96; British Museum 2010,8026.1), and a far more comparable example, also largely plain but with stamped edges (albeit concentric circles), among a hoard from Binham, Norfolk (PAS database NMS-D18CC1). This form of brooch can be dated to the fifth century.

Class: wide equal arm

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2016T1019


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Subperiod to: Early
Date from: Circa AD 410
Date to: Circa AD 500

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 26 mm
Width: 33.5 mm
Weight: 8.31 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Tuesday 11th October 2016 - Monday 14th November 2016

Personal details

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

Other reference numbers

SMR reference number: 60304
Other reference: KLMD112016
Treasure case number: 2016T1019

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Manufacture method: Cast
Decoration style: Geometric
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

County or Unitary authority: Norfolk (County)
District: Breckland (District)
Parish or ward: Sporle with Palgrave (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TF8212
Four figure Latitude: 52.67513359
Four figure longitude: 0.69053506
1:25K map: TF8212
1:10K map: TF81SW
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NMS
Created: 2 years ago
Updated: 6 months ago

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