HAMP-836509: Early early-medieval button broochha

Rights Holder: Hampshire Cultural Trust
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Unique ID: HAMP-836509

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

An early early-medieval (Anglo-Saxon, c. 450-550), copper alloy button brooch of Suzuki's class E2, incomplete in so far as it is missing its pin and has damage to the catchplate. Thick gilding is retained to the front of the brooch, lost on the most prominent edges only. The brooch is rather more oval in shape than the often more circular button brooches.
The brooch comprises a circular base with angled walls (turned outwards) surrounding it. The base depicts a face within a concentric raised rib, at the top an oval divided vertically at the centre to represent the nose and slight brow ridge above, a pellet in each half for an eye. Below a pair of ribs follows the lower line of the oval, broken just off-centre with a pair of transverse ribs, presumably representing a tongue sticking out.
Traces of orange staining around the lug to the reverse suggests the pin and spring mechanism was made of iron.
The brooch measures 16.7x15.3mm at the top of walls, 13.7x12.8mm at the base of the walls inside and 15.7x13.6mm to the reverse. It stands 7.6mm high, the walls being 3.7mm high, and weighs 3.92g.

Button brooches are distinguished by their small size and by the anthropomorphic face-masks which they feature. They may have been used in different ways as dress fasteners. It is thought that they may have been used singly rather than in pairs like the similar but larger saucer brooches. Button brooches are found throughout much of southern England and date between the later fifth and mid-sixth centuries.
Avent & Evison (1982; 96), in their discussion of the Anglo Saxon button brooch, mention the impression of a tongue hanging out of the mouth of a number of different button brooch types and the occurrence of this on other objects with mask decoration from Sweden and Norway (references therein).

Dr. Seiichi Suzuki comments : '[this] brooch is very much like one of the two finds (both type E2) from Alton, as illustrated in Plate 143 of my book. In fact, these two seem to be almost the same'.

Reference: Suzuki, S, 2008; Anglo Saxon Button Brooches Typology, Genealogy, Chronology.

Find of note status

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

Class: button
Sub class: Suzuki class E2

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: 16.7 mm
Height: 7.6 mm
Width: 15.3 mm
Weight: 3.92 g
Diameter: 26.7 mm

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Katie Hinds
Identified by: Ms Katie Hinds
Secondary identifier: Prof Seiichi Suzuki

Other reference numbers

Other reference: Hampshire Cultural Trust Object Entry Form WINCM 299

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Hampshire (County)
District: Test Valley (District)
To be known as: Goodworth Clatford

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
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: HAMP
Created: 2 years ago
Updated: 6 months ago

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