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Lilleberge mount reused as a brooch

Celtic with Viking reuse, late 8th- 9th century AD

From Lilleberge, Nord-Trøndelag, Norway.

The object was excavated by Alfred Heneage Cocks in 1886 from a high-status female grave buried under a large mound 32.5m long. It was hidden inside a composite mass of wood and textile, which was recovered by Cocks, but was only revealed by x-radiography of the mass in 2009 and subsequent conservation at the Museum.

The mount is made of gilded copper alloy with a tinned edge and was converted for wear as a disc brooch by the addition of iron pin-fittings riveted to the back. The decoration consists of a border of three cast panels of running interlace knots separated by three smaller, sub-rectangular panels of interlace and enclosing three leaping, dolphin-like creatures arranged nose to tail in an arcade around a raised central roundel. The decoration has parallels in Irish and Pictish art and metalwork.

E. Wamers, 1985, Insularer Metallschmuck in wikingerzeitlichen Gräbern Nordeuropas. Untersuchungen zur skandinavischen Westexpansion, Offa-Bücher, Bd. 56, Neumünster

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