NCL-C799E1: Eigth century Linked Pin

Rights Holder: Tyne and Wear Museums
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Unique ID: NCL-C799E1

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

Head of a copper alloy 8th- or 9th-century Anglo-Saxon disc-headed pin, probably part of a triple linked pin set. The head and part of the shaft survive in fairly good condition. The head is circular and flat with decoration on one face, and has two holes, one on each side at 90 degrees between the top of the circle and the drop of the shaft. If the shaft emerges at 6 o'clock, the hole at 9 o'clock is now incomplete. Surviving width 26mm, surviving length 39mm. The object dates to c.AD 700-900.

The decoration consists of a cross with narrow arms, defined by an incised line at each edge. Each arm of the cross appears to have a very fine line running down its centre. This cross divides the pinhead into four quadrants that have low-relief decoration. Only one quadrant can be clearly seen, at the observer's lower right when the pin is held with the shaft downwards.

This is best seen when the pin is turned so that the shaft emerges to the observer's right. A profile animal is set within a panel defined by a raised line. The animal stands on this border looking left, towards the centre of the pinhead. Four short legs can be seen, both front and rear pairs stretching diagonally into the corners of the panel. In between, the belly of the animal has nicks indicating shaggy fur. The animal's neck stretches upwards to a head with a circular eye and square-ended, upturned snout which appears to respect the complete hole at the side. The back of the head seems to have a large ear, but behind this, along the back of the animal, details are unclear. A curving block above the body, flaring away from the head, may be a tail or a space-filler; the border to the panel which runs from the hole, down in front of the animal, underneath it and then back round, gains an extra longitudinal groove and has no clear purpose behind the head. Comparison with the mirror-image but much less clear panel to the left suggests that this area may be an attempt at interlace.

Corrosion masks the details of the decoration in the other two panels, but what can be seen suggests another two animals. These animals seem to have Trewhiddle-style elements and so may suggest a 9th-century date.

Compare DENO-BF15B8, LIN-81FD08,SWYOR-72E1D5 and LIN-6FE873, all with clearly 8th-century art, and SF-068C3D, which has simple animal heads in the quadrants.

Class: linked

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Middle
Subperiod to: Late
Ascribed Culture: Anglo-Saxon
Date from: Circa AD 700
Date to: Circa AD 900

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 39 mm
Width: 26 mm

Personal details

Recorded by: Mr Andrew Agate
Identified by: Mr Andrew Agate

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: North East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Corsenside (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: NY9086
Four figure Latitude: 55.16820884
Four figure longitude: -2.15852018
1:25K map: NY9086
1:10K map: NY98NW
Grid reference source: Centred on parish
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 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: NCL
Created: 2 years ago
Updated: 11 months ago

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