Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Copper alloy brooch and chain ensemble continued: pair of suspension plates; type as no 5; sub-triangular open-work with lobed edges; punched decoration; linked direct by horizontal chain of wire double-links; chains, nine, of wire double-links.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 12thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 87 centimetres (overall)
    • Length: 6 centimetres (plates)
  • Curator's comments

    A summary introduction to the Bähr Collection of 1852
    Professor Johann Karl Bähr (1801-1869) held a chair first as the Riga Academy of Art and subsequently at Dresden. He began to form an archaeological collection of mainly Balt and Finno-Ugrian material following the floods along the River Daugava (Duna) in summer 1837, which uncovered or washed out several inhumation cemeteries of the period, notably at Aizkraukle (formerly Ascheraden) and Sigulda (Segewold).
    Violent political unrest on the Continent in 1848-49 seems to have been one of the chief reasons behind his decision to sell his collection, as well as disillusion with the debate over the significance of the material he had assembled, which gainsaid his own view that the Iron Age artefacts had belonged to the native Finno-Ugrian Livs. The collection was acquired by the British Museum in 1852 on account of perceived analogies to Viking-period finds that were being made in England.
    Although no original manuscript catalogue seems to have reached London, Bähr published an account of his excavations at Aizkraukle and Sigulda (Bähr 1850). This forms the basis of and supplements the information about findspots recorded in the register. But it still itemises only eight of the fifty or more graves that he excavated at the former site and gives only a small selection of those from the latter and the region of Daugmale. There appear to be further arrangements of objects by significant groups in the register, which possibly indicate grave assemblages that future research may be able to identify. (Barry Ager)

    See also:
    Bähr J.K, Die Gräber der Liven - Ein Beitrag zur nordischen Alterthumskunde und Geschichte. Dresden 1850, pp. 7-9, 44,59 pl. IX:a-h pl. X:9 & 10 pl. XI: 6 & 8.
    Smith R.A, 'A Guide to the Anglo-Saxon and Foreign Teutonic Antiquities in the Department of British and Mediaeval Antiquities, London 1923, pp. 173-4 pl. XVII.
    Šturms E, Zur Vorgeschichte der Liven, Eurasia Septentrionalis Antiqua X, Helsinki 1936, p. 43 Abb. 7.
    Mugurēvičs Ē.S, Vostochnaya Latviya i Sosednie Zemli v X-XIII vv Ekonomicheskie Svyazi s Rusyu i Drugimi Territoriyami Puti Soobshcheniya. Riga 1965, p. 93 note 13.
    Ryabinin E.A, Novgorod i Severo-Zapaduaya Oblast Novgorodskoi Zemli, in A.N. Kirpichnikov and P.A. Rappoport (eds) Kultura Srednevekovoi Rusi, Posvyaschaetsya 70-Letiu M.K. Kargera, Leningrad 1974, p. 58 note 6 (bird pendant).
    Ryabinin E.A. Zoomorphnye Ukrascheniya Drevenei Rusi X - XIV BB, Arkheologiya SSSR Svod Arkheologischeskikh Istochnikov E 1-60. Leningrad 1981, p. 16 note 10.
    Tõnisson E, Die Gauja-Liven und Ihre Materielle Kultur, Tallinn 1974, pp. 119-20, 146, 152 pl. XXXV.


  • Location

    On display: G41/dc22

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


Copper alloy brooch and chain ensemble continued: three perforated fragments of bone pendants hooked to the ends of chains (two on the right-hand side of the ensemble and one on the left).

Copper alloy brooch and chain ensemble continued: three perforated fragments of bone pendants hooked to the ends of chains (two on the right-hand side of the ensemble and one on the left).

Image description



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Object reference number: MCS15849

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