IOW-055A79: Early-Medieval (Anglo-Saxon) Zoomorphic Bird Brooch

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Unique ID: IOW-055A79

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

An incomplete Early-Medieval (Anglo-Saxon) copper-alloy zoomorphic bird brooch (c. 500-c. 550).

The pin is missing.

The brooch is in the in the form of a stylised bird in profile, with a raptor-like hooked beak, blind hole for the eye, collared neck, part of a folded wing along the back and an incomplete crescent moulding for the foot. The collar, edge of the wing, and foot are decorated with stamped annulets/pellets. The tail is slightly forked and is divided horizontally by a line of stamped annulets/pellets. The rear face has a single pin-lug at the tail end which is 'D'-shaped in profile. There is a complete 'D'-shaped catch-plate at the beak end. A corroded deposit of iron is attached to the pin-lug. The front is gilded.

Length: 24.7mm; width: 10.8mm; thickness: 2.2mm; thickness including pin-lug: 7.4mm. Weight: 2.36g.

A very similar brooch has been recorded from Bressingham, Norfolk (NMS-B913D5). Also compare with: HAMP-A0BB4E.


Jo Ahmet comments that this brooch is similar in form to the pair from grave 51 at Bifrons, Kent. Dating early-mid 6th century (Hawkes 2000). Both of which have in situ garnets. This Isle of Wight brooch (IOW-055A79) has the remains of an eye cell so likely would have had a garnet or possibly blue glass inlay.

Hawkes 2000, S. 'The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery of Bifrons, in the Parish of Patrixbourne, East Kent' in Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 11, 1-94).

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: County / local importance

Class: bird

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Finder
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 500
Date to: Circa AD 550

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 24.7 mm
Width: 10.8 mm
Thickness: 7.4 mm
Weight: 2.36 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 10th June 2017 - Saturday 10th June 2017

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Frank Basford
Identified by: Mr Frank Basford

Other reference numbers

Other reference: IOW2017-3-79

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Isle of Wight

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
Current location: Finder
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Operations to a depth greater than 0.25m

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: IOW
Created: About one year ago
Updated: 5 months ago

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