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from Kildonan, Eigg, Inner Hebrides

Postcard of Brooch.
© National Museums Scotland


This tinned bronze brooch was found in a Viking grave mound at Kildonan on Eigg in the Inner Hebrides. The man was buried with weapons and ornaments from Scandinavia and the British Isles between 900 and 950.

The penannular brooch is of a type known as a ball brooch, due to the ball-shaped ends. The pin attached to the ball on the hoop. The brooch was coated with white metal, probably tin, to give it a shiny appearance like silver.

Brooches of this type were made in workshops in the British Isles. They were also popular with Scandinavians, and were copied in Norway. Such brooches would have been worn by men to fasten their cloaks at the shoulder.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-099-719-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0036: Kiloran Bay Viking Burial (multimedia essay)
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.IL 163
Date: Between 900 and 950
Material: Bronze; silvered; ends shaped like thistle heads
Dimensions: 2.50" D
What: Brooch, penannular
Where: Scotland, Inverness-shire, Eigg
Description: Penannular bronze brooch with ends shaped like thistle heads, from Eigg
  • Graham-Campbell, James and Batey, Colleen E. Vikings in Scotland. An Archaeological Survey. Edinburgh: University Press, 1998, p 84. 
  • Grieg, Sigurd. Viking Antiquities in Scotland (=Viking Antiquities in Great Britain and Ireland, Part II, ed. by Haakon Shetelig). Oslo: H. Aschehoug & Co., 1940, pp 67-8. 
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