Length: 24.000 cm
Diameter: 10.200 cm (hoop)
Weight: 201.500 g
Room 41: Europe AD 300-1100
The Londesborough Brooch
Ireland, 8th- 9th century AD
Outstanding Irish brooch from Lord Londesborough's collection
This silver and gold brooch belongs to a 'Golden Age' in Irish art, which saw the production of the finest jewellery worn by people of rank and wealth. Evidence from sculpture and literature suggests that brooches like this one were used to fasten cloaks, and worn by both men, at the shoulder, and also by women on the breast.
brooch is unusual in that all its fine decoration is cast and no
The brooch is a
heavy silver ring
The rich mixture of motifs on the Londesborough brooch is typical of the finest Irish work of the eighth century. It is known as the Insular style and combines Celtic, germanic and classical elements.
Alfred Denison, 1st Baron Londesborough, collected classical, medieval and Renaissance pieces in the 1850s and presented a notable collection of rings and brooches to his wife, including medieval Irish and Anglo-Saxon items.
F. Henry, Irish art During the Early Chr (London, Methuen, 1965)
I.M. Stead and S. Youngs, Celts, British Museum Pocket Treasury (London, The British Museum Press, 1996)
S.M. Youngs (ed.), The work of angels: masterpiec (London, The British Museum Press, 1989)
T. Richard Blurton (ed.), The enduring image: treasures, exh. cat (British Council, 1997)