Northern Europe, Viking / Norse or Anglo-Saxon, ca. 9th to 10th century CE. A tremendous circular brooch, made from silver and gilded, with its face decorated with low relief Jellinge-style animals, loops, swirls, and abstract symbols. The brooch is made from silver sheets with thirteen silver bosses riveted onto its face. The undecorated back has a large pin and latch made from a single hammered piece of silver, also riveted onto the piece, with the pin coiled into a spiral to form a hinge. Fantastical serpent-like creatures writhe around the exterior; inside of that is a six-pointed star with a round interior and another six-sided shape that looks like a flower at the center. The central boss is slightly larger than the others. Size: 4.1" W (10.4 cm); 161.3 grams
An incredible piece of wearable artwork and displayed wealth, which in the volatile Viking period was often in the form of jewelry made from precious metals, this would have belonged to one of the highest members of society. A similar example with bosses (see below) was found in the vicinity of Canterbury Cathedral. The piece is most likely an Anglo-Saxon emulation of the Viking Jellinge style.
The Canterbury piece at the British Museum: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=64493&partId=1
Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection
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