HESH-3899D2: Medieval: Silver Brooch

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
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Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

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Unique ID: HESH-3899D2

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Treasure Case 2018-T204 Specialist Report

Whittington: Shropshire. Silver Annular Brooch

Date: Medieval (1150-1400 AD)

Date of discovery: Prior to 5/1/18

Circumstances of discovery: Found whilst searching with a metal detector


A complete cast silver annular brooch with recessed pin. The brooch consists of a circular-sectioned frame with a cut constriction in one side to accommodate a cast silver strip / sheet pin. The pin itself survives intact, demonstrating moulded decoration in the form of a raised transverse collar positioned directly in front of its loop; the collar is itself decorated with a grooved bar. The pin tapers along its length terminating in a blunted point which lays in line with the external edge of the frame. There is no pin rest on the frame and where the pin sits there is no evidence of excessive wear. The frame of the brooch is decorated on both faces. The upper surface has a repeated pattern of well-cut symbols which fall within a measured circumferential incised line. Although elements of the pattern repeat there is no logic behind this. The reverse face is decorated with a zig-zag line which is poorly applied and irregular in nature forming a circlet of angles. The brooch is preserved in extremely good condition. It is a mid-grey colour with areas of dark grey tarnish or slight polished sheen in places.


External diameter: 24.8mm, internal diameter: 17.5mm, the frame is 4.0mm wide and 0.8mm thick. It weighs; 4.75 grams

Discussion and Dating:

Simple undecorated and decorated annular brooches such as this example have been found in archaeological contexts dating from the later 12th to 14th centuries (1150-1400). This indicates their long use as an item of everyday dress (Ward-Perkins 1940, 273-6, and Egan & Prichard 2002; 247-256) A number of similar examples have been reported through the Treasure Act (1996) including an example from Stockton on the Forest, York (Prosser 2017) and Friskney, Lincolnshire (Westwood 2017).

Images of the brooch have been viewed by Dr Malcolm Jones, a medieval specialist in inscriptions, who has indicated that the design of the symbols could be considered to be pseudo-inscription or a pleasing pattern. During the period there were high levels of illiteracy and the fact that the pattern is letter like might be good enough for the wearer


In terms of age and as the object contains a minimum of 10% precious metal the author believes that this find qualifies as Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996.


Egan G. & Prichard F. 2002: Dress Accessories 1150-1450 Boydell; Woodbridge

Prosser, L (2017) YORYM-77F7A2: A medieval silver brooch from Stockton-on-the-Forest, York

Web page available at: https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/868428

Ward-Perkins, J.B. 1940: The London Museum Medieval Catalogue. HMSO London

Westwood, B (2017) DUR-79F6F4: A medieval silver brooch from Friskney, Lincolnshire.

Web page at: https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/853180


Peter Reavill - Portable Antiquities Scheme

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2018T204


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1150
Date to: Circa AD 1450

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 0.8 mm
Weight: 4.75 g
Diameter: 24.8 mm

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Peter Reavill
Identified by: Mr Peter Reavill

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2018T204

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Decoration style: Geometric
Completeness: Complete
Surface Treatment: Incised or engraved or chased

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Whittington

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
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: HESH
Created: About one year ago
Updated: 19 days ago

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