Another Funny Brooch


Here’s a funny little guy from our site in Kaga. It’s a crumpled-up disc-brooch, about 75% complete, original diameter 71 mm, copper-alloy pin extant and folded into the brooch, pin-catch extant on back, apparently soldered on.


On the surface of the brooch are a central large boss with mock-filigree, surrounded by five identical ones, and outside those five are another five smaller bosses. All in all eleven bosses. The surface of the brooch is divided into petal-like fields by lines of tiny bumps. All decoration is visible on the back side too: most of the piece is just 0.6 mm thick.

I really wonder about this baby. Judging from the rest of the finds on-site, it’s likely to date from after AD 400. But it doesn’t look much like anything Scandinavian from the period 400-1100. (During this period, Scandy brooch pins are almost exclusively iron.) It does look a bit like a cheap version of a Kentish 6th century cloisonnĂ© brooch. So my guess is that this piece is either

  • English/Frankish 400-1100,
  • Scandy 1100-1500, or
  • Continental 1100-1500.

Anybody able to help?


  1. #1 Dan
    April 16, 2008

    I’ve looked through our database and found very few examples that match your brooch. There’s this cloissone one:
    which has a slight similarity. The ring and dot does indeed suggest that it fits the Early Medieval date, but it doesn’t look like one of our typical cloissone examples. So I wonder if this is more likely to be a crushed saucer brooch? Have a look through these and see if you can see any matches:

  2. #2 paddy
    April 17, 2008

    Good to see you found a use for that measuring stick (or whatever the official name for that thing is)!

  3. #3 Christina
    April 18, 2008

    Holy sh… I don’t even remember when my hands looked that “un-excavating-stuff”-ish. They’re permanently messed up now, and my nails…well, let’s not even go there.
    Oh, nice find, too!!

  4. #4 Martin R
    April 19, 2008

    Thanks Dan! Looks like we can rule out the English connection.

    Christina, have you considered wearing protective gloves?

  5. #5 M E Starr
    July 12, 2008

    See what I meant about context?
    Okey, maybe it was a plowzone find, but getting it out of an ex u would be so much better.

    I got to go. Glad you are up to so much and haven’t yet sold your soul to get a real job. And about getting your licks in on Bad Bob. Take it easy.

  6. #6 Martin R
    July 13, 2008

    Thanks Mary! Always great to read your comments.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.