Pictish chain of silver

< 1 of 1 > Back

From Parkhill, Aberdeenshire

Postcard of Pictish chain of silver.
© National Museums Scotland

Pictish chain of silver

This massive silver chain was found at Parkhill in Aberdeenshire. It is one of ten surviving heavy silver chains, of a type found only in Scotland and generally attributed to the Picts. They were symbols of high status, worn between 400 and 800 AD.

The chain consists of 23 pairs of silver rings, and a terminal link. It is one of two silver chains whose terminal link is ornamented with symbols similar to those found on Pictish stones, here highlighted by red enamel. The chain weighs 1.23 kilograms.

Although commonly attributed to the Picts, only three chains, including this one, have been found in the Pictish kingdom proper. They were almost certainly badges of high rank - perhaps the equivalent of 'crown jewels' in a land of many kings.

Record details

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

Online ID: 000-100-036-323-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 147
Date: Between 400 and 800
Material: Silver; of double rings; penannular terminal ring engraved with one of the symbols of the sculptured stones
Dimensions: 44 oz weight
What: Chain
Where: Scotland, Aberdeenshire, New Machar, Parkhill
Description: Pictish chain of double rings of silver with penannular terminal ring engraved with one of the symbols of the sculptured stones, from Parkhill, Aberdeenshire
  • Douglas, Hon. Lord and Smith, J.A. Notice of the discovery of a massive silver chain of plain double rings or links at Hoardwell, Berwickshire. With notes of similar chains found in Scotland. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 15 (1880 
Related Records:
< 1 of 1 > Back
Powered by Scran