LIN-A6943E: Anglo-Saxon copper alloy saucer brooch

Rights Holder: Lincolnshire County Council
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Unique ID: LIN-A6943E

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An early Anglo-Saxon copper alloy brooch, probably an unusual variant of an applied saucer brooch (also known simply as an "applied brooch") or a hybrid between cast and applied types.

The brooch is circular, concave, and has the remains of silver or tin coating in patches on both the concave front and the convex reverse . No decoration is visible. Noticeable pitting, corrosion and slight colour changes form a narrow band (4-5mm wide) around the edge of the front, just inside the rim. The reverse contains a single damaged lug for the pin, broken through a hole. This lug is set in line with a complete catchplate, and iron corrosion is visible around the lug, probably from an iron pin bar.

This brooch is not thick and flat like a disc brooch, neither does it have the normal cast decoration of a cast saucer brooch. The white-metal coating on the front is likely to be solder from a thin relief-decorated applied plate or foil, with the different colour and condition around the edge showing that this applied plate did not reach as far as the rim.

This type of 'applied' brooch is normally made entirely of sheet metal, with a separate rim, pin bar lug and catchplate all made from sheet and riveted or soldered together, with the joins being covered by a soldered-on plate. However, parallels to this form, with cast backplate and missing their applied plate, can be found from Brighthampton and Fairford (MacGregor and Bolick 1993, 41 nos. 1.40 and 1.41) and from grave 59 at Berinsfield (Boyle et al 1995, 77). Further examples on the PAS database include NMS-C5D5B1, NMS-213456 (incomplete) and possibly IOW-0CA342 (incomplete).

Although all of these have flat centres and the complete examples have sharply up-turned rims, the concave shape is a common variant among cast saucer brooches. A similar object was found at the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Wigston Magna, Leicestershire (Liddle and Middleton 1994, figure 6, catalogue no. 6).

Applied saucer brooches are among the earliest of Anglo-Saxon brooches, being known from the start of the 5th century into the early 6th century (MacGregor and Bolick 1993, 32).

Find of note status

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

Class: applied saucer

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 400
Date to: Circa AD 550

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 7.3 mm
Weight: 16.06 g
Diameter: 46.6 mm

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Adam Daubney
Identified by: Dr Adam Daubney

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: White metal coated

Spatial metadata

Region: East Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Lincolnshire (County)
District: East Lindsey (District)
To be known as: Alford area

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

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

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

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