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from Clibberswick, Unst, Shetland

Postcard of Brooch.
© National Museums Scotland


This bronze brooch was found with a pair of oval brooches 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.

This picture shows the back of the brooch. The hinge and catch for the pin are visible on two of the lobes of the brooch.

Trefoil brooches became popular for women in the early Viking period in Scandinavia. They appear to have developed from Frankish sword mounts of this shape, some even adapting some Carolingian ornament. They were used to fasten a shawl or cloak.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-099-739-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 224
Date: 9th century
Between 850 and 900
Material: Bronze; trefoil shape
Who: Lerwick Collection
Where: Scotland, Shetland, Unst, Haroldswick, Clibberswick
Description: Bronze trefoil brooch 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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