- Museum number
Gold sheet open-work sub-oval miniature buckle, with extensive filigree decoration in plain and beaded wire. Two opposed pairs of linked bird heads with incised hooked beaks enclose a rectangular central panel containing interlacing snakes on a two-part base. The filigree overlies a repoussé open-work base soldered to a separate flat sheet, which is soldered to the underside of the buckle, filling a rectangular cut-out. An additional foil patch secures this on the back, where small right-angled hooks (L. 0.3 cm) attached the buckle to thick fabric or leather.
- Production date
Length: 3.15 centimetres
Width: 2.15 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Youngs 1989a
The buckle is one of a pair which probably came from garters or other clothing. It shows a variety of techniques used by Anglo-Saxon and other Germanic craftsmen, including granulation and plain twisted and beaded wires in a variety of weights and arrangements. A special feature of this piece is the use of an openwork repoussé base (hollow platform) set on a separate foil sheet, a technique rare in Anglo-Saxon England but more widely used in prestige Celtic metalwork - for instance, on the Dunbeath fragment (National Museums of Scotland (NMS), Edinburgh no. FC9), the Derrynaflan paten (National Museums of Ireland, Dublin no. 1980:4) and the Hunterston brooch (NMS no. FC8).
Date given as 7th century.
Bibliography: Smith, R.A. 1923. ‘British Museum Guide to Anglo-Saxon and Foreign Teutonic Antiquities’, London, pl. I, no. 3; Bruce-Mitford, R.L.S. 1974. ‘Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology’, London, pl. 26b; Stevenson, R.B.K. 1974. The Hunterson brooch and its significance, ‘Medieval Archaeology’ 18, 30, pl. XXA.
- On display (G41/dc6/sC)
- Exhibition history
1997 9 Jun-6 Dec, Stornoway, Museum nan Eilean, Colm Cille and the Saints of the Western Isles
1990-1991 Oct-Feb, Edinburgh, Royal Museum of Scotland, The Work of Angels: Masterpieces of Irish Metalwork
1990 7 May-30 Sep, Dublin, National Museum of Ireland, The Work of Angels: Masterpieces of Irish Metalwork
1989-1990 29 Nov-29 Apr, London, British Museum, The Work of Angels: Masterpieces of Irish Metalwork
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number