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Kentish composite brooch

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posted on 27.10.2021, 15:32 by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
The fibula found in the first grave was very beautiful, and nearly perfect. It had lain on the left breast. The external rim consisted of garnets or garnet-coloured glass, interlaced with gold chequer-work in half diamond patterns. Within it was a deep border of gold work, then an inner circle of garnets or of coloured glass, interlaced also with the gold chequer: again, another circle of beaded gold; and in the centre of all a large boss of ivory or seahorse's tooth, divided quarterly with the same sort of gold chequer. The centre of the fibula consisted of a large carbuncle, surrounded by a thin border of the same gold-threaded or chequer-work. Four other ivory studs, forming a square, contained also carbuncles, and completed the ornamentation of the brooch. This relic was 2.75 inches in diameter, being of the same size as the fibula found near Abingdon, figured in 'Pagan Saxondom' [Akerman 1855a], plate 3, and which it strikingly resembled in almost all other particulars.Circular gold fibula set with garnets and gold filigree. Central boss of ivory set with carbuncles.The British Museum - Merlin Collections Database, Feb 2006: \Gold composite disc brooch with 4 cabochon garnets in white paste & central boss; filigree; cloisonné Style II pin-catch. Diameter 6.70cm. Thickness 1.50cm\". – B.B."


Grave ID

Sarre Grave A

Object ID


Catalogue Number

BM 1860, 1024.1


gold, garnet, inlay, white material, shell (Sonia Hawkes Material Notes; gold, garnets, ivory, carbuncles) (Antiquarian Material; glass, gold, garnets, ivory, seahorse's tooth, carbuncle)

Complete Keyword List (Including Alternatives)

Kentish brooch (Sonia Hawkes Keyword; fibula) (Antiquarian Keyword; fibula)




British Museum

Category ID


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