IOW-B26F91: Anglo-Saxon (Early-Medieval) Small Square-headed Brooch. Treasure case no. 2017 T1153

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: IOW-B26F91

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A fragment of a cast silver gilded square headed brooch (c. 450-c. 550). Treasure case no. 2017 T1153.

The fragment comprises part of the bow and pin mechanism. It is roughly rectangular in shape with losses on all sides. In the middle of the surviving fragment is a raised circular panel depicting a stylised human mask surrounded by raised concentric circles. The mask has two bulbous eyes and a prominent brow with integral nose, running between the eyes. Above the mask (as photographed) are the remains of additional ornament, now difficult to reconstruct due to losses. Gilding survives across much of the surface.

The back of the brooch is plain and slightly dished behind the human mask feature. At the top (as photographed) is an integral pierced lug, representing the remains of the pin mechanism.

This fragment appears to derive from the bow of a small square headed brooch, dating to the fifth to sixth centuries. An extremely similar fragment has been found at Shorwell, Isle of Wight (PAS database IOW-244C13, Treasure Number 2007 T203 (16), British Museum 2006,0305.99).


The find contains a minimum of 10% silver and predates 1717. It thus qualifies as Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996 in terms of precious metal content and age.

Class: small square headed

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Acquired by the Isle of Wight Heritage Service, 31/12/2018
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2017T1153


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: 24.4 mm
Width: 11.5 mm
Thickness: 9 mm
Weight: 2.94 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 15th November 2017 - Wednesday 15th November 2017

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Frank Basford
Identified by: Mr Frank Basford
Secondary identifier: Ms Sue Brunning

Other reference numbers

Other reference: IOW2017-1-271
Treasure case number: 2017T1153

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Secondary material: Gold
Manufacture method: Cast
Decoration style: Figurative
Completeness: Fragment
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)
Parish or ward: Calbourne (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SZ4287
Four figure Latitude: 50.68114878
Four figure longitude: -1.40689375
1:25K map: SZ4287
1:10K map: SZ47SW
Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Club rally
Current location: Acquired by the Isle of Wight Heritage Service, 31/12/2018
General landuse: Grassland, Heathland
Specific landuse: Regularly improved

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: 3 months ago

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