Replica of the Hunterston brooch

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Original found at Hunterston, Ayrshire

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

Replica of the Hunterston brooch

This picture is one of a series showing a replica of the Hunterston Brooch being fastened to a man's garment. Made around 700, the silver gilt brooch with amber settings is one of the finest products of its time. It was found at Hunterston in Ayrshire.

The brooch is richly decorated with panels of gold filigree. There are settings for amber mounts, most of which are missing on the original. The composition of the pin matches the body of the brooch.

From contemporary Irish law tracts we know that men wore such brooches across the shoulder, while women wore them on the breast. Such an accomplished and lavish brooch could only have been a mark of high status.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-001-178-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
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. 
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