Silver bowl

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found on St Ninian's Isle, Dunrossness, Shetland

Postcard of Silver bowl.
© National Museums Scotland

Silver bowl

This silver bowl is part of a hoard found on St Ninian's Isle at Dunrossness in Shetland in 1958. The hoard was buried for safe keeping on the site of an early Christian church sometime between 750 and 825. This picture shows the base of the bowl.

The base of the bowl has a cross formed by double lines of punched dots. In each of the four fields defined by the cross is a crude triquetra knot.

The metalwork found in the St Ninian's Isle treasure shows the skill and accomplishment of Pictish craftsmen. The use of dotted backgrounds and some of the animal decoration on other objects are distinctive Pictish artistic traits.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-001-157-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 271
Date: 8th century
Buried between 750 and 825
Material: Silver; with shallow basal depression; half badly corroded; decorated by dotted lines in 3 zones; single line interlace above; double line interlace in centre; row of triangles below; a cross divides base into 4 panels, each with double line knot
Dimensions: 5.70" D x 1.60" deep
What: Bowl
Where: Scotland, Shetland, St Ninian's Isle
Description: Bowl of silver decorated with dotted lines, from St Ninian's Isle, Pictish, 8th century
  • Small, A., Thomas, C., & Wilson, D. M. St. Ninian's Isle and its Treasure. London: Oxford University Press,1973 
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