ANGLO-SAXON GILDED BUTTON BROOCH, CIRCA 6TH CENTURY.

ANGLO-SAXON GILDED BUTTON BROOCH, CIRCA 6TH CENTURY.

325.00

An extremely rare Anglo-Saxon button brooch dating to the late 5th to mid 6th century AD. The gilded surface of the brooch is decorated with a chip-carved forward-facing depiction of a fearsome warrior, surrounded by a raised circular border. This button brooch is somewhat unusual, as it is larger than most, and the stylised face-mask is more detailed than usual. The hair is represented by incised vertical lines. The prominent eyebrows divide the hair from the facial features. The triangular nose is integral with the horizontal eyebrows. At each side of the pellet eyes, two curving ridges form cheeks. Above the mouth is a symmetrical moustache curling down at the ends towards the bottom lip. The back of the brooch is flat with the remains of the catch-plate, the iron pin is missing. It is thought that button brooches like this one were used singly as dress fasteners, rather than in pairs like the similar, but larger, saucer brooches. This brooch is a wonderful example of its type, complete apart from its pin, and with the majority of the original gilding remaining. The fearsome face mask, highly evocative of the art of the turbulent Migration period. For comparison, there is a near identical example recorded on the PAS database: IOW-2E59F6.

Diameter:

References: Avent, R. and Evison, V.I., 1982 Anglo-Saxon button brooches London: Society of Antiquaries of London 86, fig. 8, Iii.

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