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disc pendant

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    .1145.'70

  • Description

    Circular sheet gold pendant with a beaded wire rim and corrugated suspension loop. Three cloisonné birds' heads with cabochon garnet eyes, arranged in the form of a triskele, radiate from a central garnet ring, which encloses a circular setting, now empty. Surrounding the ring are two concentric bands of filigree, edged with twisted wire, containing heart-shaped motifs, S-shaped scrolls and single granules with beaded wire collars.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 7thC(early)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 3.45 centimetres
    • Height: 3.65 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Webster & Backhouse 1991
    Elaborate gold and garnet pendants decorated with filigree are a seventh-century female fashion, occurring mainly in Kent, but spreading from there to other areas such as the Upper Thames and Yorkshire. The filigree bands and the central cloisonné ring on this piece are reminiscent of those found on Kentish disc brooches, but the cloisonné garnet birds' heads suggest continental influence, confirmed by the amount of imported material found in this rich cemetery, as they are related to Frankish bird brooches and bird-headed pins. The motif is probably amuletic; a similar gold pendant with four schematic cloisonné birds' heads in the form of a swastika was found in the Wieuwerd (Friesland) hoard, coin-dated to c. 625-30 (Lafaurie, J., Jansen, B. and Zadoks-Josephus-Jitta, A. 1961, Le tresor de Wieuwerd, ‘Oudheikundige Mededelingen’ 42, 78-107).

    Bibliography: Smith, R.A. 1923, ‘A Guide to the Anglo-Saxon and Foreign Teutonic Antiquities in the Department of British and Mediaeval Antiquities, British Museum’, London, 39-40, pl. 1, 4; Åberg, N. 1926, ‘The Anglo-Saxons in England’, Uppsala, 132, 217, fig. 243; Bruce-Mitford, R.L.S. 1974, ‘Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology’, London, 118, pl. 26c.

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  • Bibliography

    • Tait 1986a 230 bibliographic details
    • Marzinzik 2013 50 bibliographic details
    • Webster & Backhouse 1991 9 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G41/dc6/sB

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1895

  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1858-1868

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    .1145.'70

Gold disc pendant with cloisonné triskele of bird heads.

Gold disc pendant with cloisonné triskele of bird heads.

Image description

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Object reference number: MCS14682

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