Brooch (back)

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from Pierowall, Westray, Orkney

Postcard of Brooch (back).
© National Museums Scotland

Brooch (back)

This brass oval brooch was found in a burial from the Viking age cemetery at Pierowall on Westray in Orkney. It dates from the 9th century. This picture shows the back of the brooch.

The oval brooch was cast in a single piece using the lost wax method, as indicated by the textile impressions. In a complicated process, a master cast was made from which a number of moulds were formed by pouring molten wax into the mould.

Textiles were used to reinforce the wax master cast in the production of the brooches. When the mould was heated and the wax melted away, the textile impressions remained on the metal.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-099-730-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 197
Date: 9th century
Between 800 and 900
Material: Oval; bowl-shaped
What: Brooch
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Westray, Pierowall
Description: Oval tortoise brooch with textile imprints on the reverse, from Pierowall, Westray, 9th century
  • Graham-Campbell, James and Batey, Colleen E. Vikings in Scotland. An Archaeological Survey. Edinburgh: University Press, 1998, pp 129-34. 
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