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From Orkney

Postcard of Pin.
© National Museums Scotland


This bone pin was found in Orkney. It was used as a dress pin or a hairpin, sometime between 850 and 1000.

As is the case with many similar bone pins, the head has a hole in it, perhaps to attach a cord which was then tied around the point to keep the pin in place. It has been carved with a series of projections.

Bone pins are common finds from Viking settlements in Britain and Scandinavia, reflecting their common use as dress pins to fasten clothing together. They come in a range of sizes and styles, some quite elaborate.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-037-818-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.GA 21
Date: Between 850 and 1000
Material: Bone; winged head
Dimensions: 1.75" - 4.50" L
What: Pin, dress / hairpin
Where: Scotland, Orkney
Description: Dress pin or hairpin of bone with a winged head, from Orkney
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