Diameter: 7.600 cm
Length: 15.500 cm (pin)
From the collection of Thomas Bateman
Prehistory and Europe
Silver ring brooch
Irish, 9th century AD
From Tara, County Meath, Ireland
Weighted to give a false impression of value
This handsome brooch is said to have come from the ancient royal site of Tara, County Meath, in Ireland. But all we know for certain is that came into the collection of Thomas Bateman, the pioneering Derbyshire archaeologist, in the nineteenth century.
The brooch was
cast in silver before the addition of
The fine, repetitive interlace and style of the little animals in the central panels suggest a date in the ninth century, a period when Viking activity made silver and Baltic amber more abundant. Empty recesses on the back may have been filled with lead to falsify the weight (this is seen also on the great Londesborough brooch). The style shows the influence of contemporary continental animal art.
S.M. Youngs (ed.), The work of angels: masterpiec (London, The British Museum Press, 1989)
R.A. Smith, 'Irish brooches of five centuries', Archaeologia-4, 65 (1914)