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Early Medieval (400AD - 1099AD)

Craft, industry and trade

Hunterston Brooch

Period:
Early Medieval
Description:

Hunterston Brooch, an early Christian brooch with panels of gold filigree combining Celtic and Anglo-Saxon styles, made in the west of Scotland or Ireland around 700 AD.

 

This early Christian brooch was found in 1830 on the Hunterston Estate in Ayrshire. It is a masterpiece of craft skills, and would have been worn by powerful nobles or clerics. Its style is typical of western Scotland and Ireland, combining Celtic and Anglo-Saxon influences. It is made of silver, richly decorated with amber settings and panels of filigree goldwork representing interlaced beasts. The back has gilded interlaced decoration. It had a long life, falling into the hands of Vikings around AD 1000 - a runic inscription on the back reads 'Melbrigda owns this brooch'.

Materials/Media:
Gold filigree, beaded wire, gilded cast silver panels
Dimensions:
diameter 122 mm
Source:
National Museums Scotland
Accession number:
X.FC 8
Digital Number:
NMAC003n
Creation Date:
c. 700
Copyright:
Board of Trustees, National Museums Scotland
RCAHMS site record:
Hunterston Brooch