Diameter: 11.200 cm (max.)
Room 41: Europe AD 300-1100
The Strickland Brooch
Anglo-Saxon, mid-9th century AD
Animals large and small
The history of this elaborate silver disc brooch is almost unknown. It is named after the Strickland family of Yorkshire, and may well have belonged to Sir William Strickland, a keen collector of antiquities in the nineteenth century. The brooch was bought by an American buyer at auction in 1949 but it was refused an export licence and was then purchased by The British Museum.
feature of the brooch is the extensive use of gold in its
decoration, used at a time when it was scarce and highly prized.
Plain gold panels enrich a lively pattern of dog-like animals
(complete with collars!) deeply carved into the silver to form an
openwork effect. These animals fill a
The rich look of the
brooch is further enhanced by a number of decorative techniques
which clearly show the Anglo-Saxon love of colour and light. A
The back of the brooch is undecorated, although attached are the remains of fixings for a pin which is now missing. The silver loop fitted by a rivet to the top of the brooch allows it to be worn as a pendant.
R.L.S. Bruce-Mitford, 'Late Saxon disc-brooches' in Dark-Age Britain-1 (London, Methuen, 1956)
D.M. Wilson, Anglo-Saxon art (London, Thames and Hudson, 1984)
L. Webster and J. Backhouse, The making of England: Anglo-S, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)