Copper-alloy shield-on-tongue buckle and unassociated inlaid white-metal? counterplate
online resourceposted on 26.10.2021, 15:07 by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Bronze buckle, width 3.1cm. D-shaped loop, with curved exterior face and concave posterior, front decorated with groups of transverse grooves and groups of deeply punched ring-and-dot ornament between. Tongue waisted, with shield-on-back, this likewise decorated with transverse grooves and ring-and-dot, the edges notched and the sides of the shield longitudinally grooved. Hook on back of shield broken.Silver-gilt and gold buckle-plate, length 5.7cm Triangular frame with concave top (where it fitted into base of tongue and loop), flat roundels at top and bottom, with dome-shaped rivet surviving at bottom, enclosed in beaded gold or gilt wire collar. Top domes missing, and plaster of paris applied in modern times has obscured structure. Here there are two rivet holes. At top and sides, top of frame left plain silver, with gold wire rings inlaid, mostly now missing but emplacements visible. Silver backplate fragmentary and filled up with plaster of paris. Rivet projects through and underneath bottom stud. Whole central area filled with repoussé gold plate bordered with beaded gold wire and decorated with fine filigree work. Apparently a single snake with head with lower jaw crossing upper, body making series of loops across returning straight section, ending in tail. At sides of loop are another pair of broken straight lines, possibly leg at bottom right. The broken straight lines at sides may be to do with leg and jaw. Head has eye. Tiny beaded annulet filing space at top. Filigree strands triple: beaded wire at centre flanked by thinner wires on either side.Needs further thought. Rest of buckle in British Museum.Rest of buckle in the Brisith Museum. – B.B.