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White-metal gilt ?pin head

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posted on 26.10.2021, 15:09 by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Fragmentary ornament, probably part of an elaborate pin-head, of silver gilt. At centre a solid disc of metal with engraved ring, within which are four engraved arcs and central punched dot. Originally this roundel was flanked by a pair of perched birds with tails at bottom and heads bent over at top. Heads set back to back at top, and have square brow angles, underlined eyes, curving necks, shoulder spiral developing into long straight wind down back, pear-shaped hip, with up bent foot and curled claw, and wedge-shaped tail. Most parts of body, eg. wing, tail and shoulder joints have an inner engraved outline which may once have contained niello, though none now remains. Traces of gilding in other crevices in relief work, but not in the engraved lines, reinforces this idea. The beaks are rather fat with incurved tip and median groove. Very damaged. Both heads and beaks survive, both necks lost, one body with wing, foot and tail survives, and fragment of tail of opposing bird. At base of the disc is a broken section, rather thick, which suggests that a pin shaft was broken away. Decoration on both sides.


Grave ID

Guilton Grave 48

Object ID


Catalogue Number

M 6005


white metal, gilt (Sonia Hawkes Material Notes; silver gilt) (Antiquarian Material; silver gilt)

Complete Keyword List (Including Alternatives)

pin (Sonia Hawkes Keyword; pin) (Antiquarian Keyword; ornament)




National Museums Liverpool


Mayer Collection

Original Collection


Category ID


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