Front of the Hunterston brooch

< 1 of 1 > Back

found at Hunterston, Ayrshire

Postcard of Front of the Hunterston brooch.
© National Museums Scotland

Front of the Hunterston brooch

This silver gilt brooch with amber settings was found at Hunterston in Ayrshire. Made around 700, it is one of the finest products of its time. An inscription in Scandinavian runes on the back records its later ownership by Melbrigda.

The brooch is richly decorated with panels of gold filigree. There are settings for amber mounts, most of which are now missing. The composition of the pin matches the body of the brooch, a style characteristic of 8th- and 9th-century Irish brooches.

The style of the brooch has Irish parallels, while the filigree resembles metalwork from England. The brooch was probably made in western Scotland where the two traditions were joined, or perhaps in Ireland by a craftsman trained in foreign techniques.

Record details

To search on related items, click any linked text below.

Online ID: 000-100-036-198-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FC 8
Date: c. 700
Made around 700, but the runic inscription dates from between 900 and 1000
Material: Silver and gold; amber settings; panels of interlaced work; runic inscription on the back. Inscription: Hoop: Melbrigda owns this brooch (Viking runes)
What: Brooch
Subject: Personal Ornaments
Who: Melbrigda (Owner)
Where: Ireland
Scotland, Ayrshire, Hunterston
Scotland, West
Description: Hunterston Brooch, an early Christian brooch with panels of gold filigree in Celtic and Anglo-Saxon styles, from Ireland or the West of Scotland, c. 700 AD, and found at Hunterston, Ayrshire in 1830
  • 'MOSAICS' multimedia programme. NMS 1994 
  • Youngs, Susan (ed). 'The Work of Angels'. Masterpieces of Celtic metalwork, 6th-9th centuries AD. London: British Museums Publications Ltd, 1989, pp 91-2. 
Related Records:
< 1 of 1 > Back
Powered by Scran