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Saxon Brooch

Saxon Brooch Colour


Saxon Brooch B&W

[Both images reproduced by kind permission of the Ashmolean Museum © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford]

The  brooch, from Cherbury Camp, is held in the reserve collection of The Ashmolean Museum and is not on display. There are no other Anglo-Saxon or medieval objects from Cherbury Camp in the Ashmolean collection.  The brooch was originally given to the Pitt Rivers Museum in 1918 and then transferred to the Ashmolean in 1931 – so well before any excavations in the late 30s.

Ashmolean Museum catalogue entry from MacGregor, Arthur and Bolick, Ellen 1993, A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals )  BAR British Series 230, p114, cat no 13.6:

SQUARE-HEADED BROOCH copper alloy, with traces of gilding. Rectangular head-plate; above the bow is a rectangular field with an inverted face-mask and confused subsidiary motifs; enclosed by a rectangular field with debased interlacing animal ornament within a raised border stamped repeatedly with a triangular punch; the perimeter is pierced by a series of circular perforations, alternating with semi-circular indentations on the edge, and has prominent pyramidal bosses at the upper corners. Arched bow, flattened in section, with three prominent ribs, the outer pair grooved for part of their length and the mid-rib with two zones of stamped triangles above and below a damaged central area. Foot-plate with semi-circular side lobes and tongue-shaped terminal lobe; the shoulders are each formed into an animal head with gaping jaws, pierced by three circular holes; prominent mid-rib, originating in a face-mask at the top and terminating in another at the bottom with, to either side, chip-carved zoomorphic devices; the side lobes each have a conical boss within a raised edge moulding, while the terminal lobe has a slightly prominent inverted face-mask. Double hinge with traces of iron corrosion; catch missing, its site marked by a roughened area as though previously repaired.

Cherbury Camp, Berkshire. Presented to the Pitt Rivers Museum by Sir William Anson, 1918. Transferred to the Ashmolean 1931.’

The accession register states that the brooch is from the same mould as that found at Longbridge, Warwick (Vict. County History Warwick I), with small variations due to chasing.

[Reproduced from the collection entry by kind permission of the Ashmolean Museum]