Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Finger-ring of plain gold, with lozenge-shaped cross-section.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 875 (deposited circa)
    • 9thC(late)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 3 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Webster & Backhouse 1991
    Part of a hoard; found with 1925,0114.1-3 and 1925,0217.2-3.

    The hoard was found in 1924 along with coins (reg. no. 1925,0202.12) which date its deposition to c. 875 and perhaps associate its concealment with the Viking army's over-wintering at nearby Repton in 873/4. The two medium-sized brooches represent rather different aspects of the Trewhiddle style, (reg. no. 1925,0114.1), the smaller, belongs to a tradition of elaborate small openwork brooches and mounts going back to the eighth century (e.g. Bakka, E. 1963, Some English Decorated Metal Objects found in Norwegian Viking Graves, ‘Årbok för Universitetet i Bergen: Humanistik Serie’, no. 1, fig. 13); its delicate zoomorphic ornament is very different in quality and conception to the coarser abstract decoration of the larger brooch, (reg. no. 1925,0114.2). In several respects these animals, with their beaked heads and distinctive musculature markings, cannot be closely paralleled elsewhere in the Trewhiddle-style repertoire, though the triple tail feathers of one creature, as Wilson pointed out, resemble those of the bird symbol on the late ninth- or early tenth-century Abingdon sword. The parallel he also drew with faceting on the sword is now less convincing, since that can now be seen to have entered the repertoire earlier in the ninth century, where it can be seen on the first pair of brooches in the Pentney hoard.
    Brooch (reg. no. 1925,0114.2), with its flat and somewhat perfunctory array of interlaced, geometric and plant motifs, reflects a tendency to more abstract decoration seen on for example the Stockholm brooch of the tenth century (Backhouse, J., Turner, D.H. and Webster, L.E. (eds) 1984, ‘The Golden Age of Anglo-Saxon Art966-1066’, London, cat. 17), and in the fittings of a number of northern swords (e.g. one found at Gilling Beck, North Yorks., now held by The Yorkshire Museum, York, inv. no. 1979 51). It is instructive that this hoard, buried close in time to that found at Trewhiddle, should show two rather different aspects of the style seen in that context, a reminder of the range of the style's vocabulary and many contemporary variations possible on this theme.

    Select bibliography: Wilson, D.M. 1964, ‘Anglo-Saxon Ornamental Metalwork 700-1100 in the British Museum, Catalogue of Antiquities of the Later Saxon Period’, I, London, cats 2-7; 29-31; Roesdahl, E. et al (eds) 1981, ‘The Vikings in England and in their Danish Homeland’, Anglo-Danish Viking Project, London, cat. c. 10; Brooks, N. and Graham-Campbell, J.A. 1986, Reflections on the Viking Age Silver Hoard from Croydon, Surrey, in M.A.S. Blackburn (ed.) ‘Anglo-Saxon Monetary History’, 109-10.Wilson 1964
    Found with registration nos. 1925,0114.1-3, and 1925,0217.2-3. For details of find, etc., see entry for 1925,0114.1.

    Before 875.

    See p. 59 and pl. XI.


  • Bibliography

    • Webster & Backhouse 1991 245 (c) bibliographic details
    • Wilson 1964 5 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    1990 12 May-2 Sep, Liverpool, National Museums & Galleries of Merseyside, A Silver Saga
    1982 3 Apr-31 Oct, York, Yorkshire Museum, The Vikings in England and their Danish Homeland
    1981 5 Sep-31 Dec, Denmark, Århus, Moesgård Museum, The Vikings in England and their Danish Homeland
    1981 11 Apr-16 Aug, Denmark, Copenhagen, The Danish National Museum, The Vikings in England and their Danish Homeland

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    found 1924

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


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Object reference number: MCS6200

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