Brooch (front)

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from Clibberswick, Unst, Shetland

Postcard of Brooch (front).
© National Museums Scotland

Brooch (front)

This brass oval brooch was found with its pair and a bronze trefoil brooch in a Norse woman's grave at Clibberswick on Unst in Shetland, together with some glass beads and a plain silver bracelet which are now lost. The burial dates from between 850 and 900.

The brooch is of a type manufactured in the 8th and 9th centuries in Scandinavia. It is worn, obscuring much of the detail.

Until the tenth century, Viking women appear to have worn a shift. A pinafore was worn over this, held up by shoulder straps, often with oval brooches anchoring the straps on each shoulder. Shawls were also worn, fastened by a different type of brooch.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-099-737-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 223
Date: 9th century
Between 850 and 900
Material: Oval; bowl-shaped; textile imprint on reverse
What: Brooch
Who: Lerwick Collection
Where: Scotland, Shetland, Unst, Haroldswick, Clibberswick
Description: Oval brooch with textile imprint on reverse, from Clibberswick, Shetland, 9th century
  • Graham-Campbell, James and Batey, Colleen E. Vikings in Scotland. An Archaeological Survey. Edinburgh: University Press, 1998, pp 64, 153-4. 
  • 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. 103-5. 
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