Penannular brooch of silver gilt

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found on St Ninian's Isle, Dunrossness, Shetland

Postcard of Penannular brooch of silver gilt.
© National Museums Scotland

Penannular brooch of silver gilt

This silver gilt penannular brooch was found in a hoard containing silver objects and part of a porpoise's jaw, buried on St Ninian's Isle at Dunrossness in Shetland sometime between 750 and 825. The hoard probably belonged to a Pictish chief.

The brooch's sub-triangular terminals have central insets of brown glass. Radiating from these insets are pointed oval settings for further glass studs, all of which are now empty. On the hoop is a triple panel with a square setting, also empty.

The St Ninian's Isle hoard contained 12 brooches, most of them silver gilt. They are all characteristically Pictish in form, yet each is individually crafted with differences in design and technique. All were objects worn to display status and wealth.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-036-434-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 285
Date: 8th century
Buried between 750 and 825
Material: Silver gilt; terminals with central triangular green glass insets from which radiate pointed oval settings leaving panels of poor interlace between; triple panel with central square setting and five ribs on hoop; pin with expanded oval head decorated with
Dimensions: 2.70" D; hoop 0.30" W
What: Brooch, penannular
Where: Scotland, Shetland, St Ninian's Isle
Description: Penannular brooch of silver-gilt with glass insets and interlace patterns, from St Ninian's Isle, Pictish, 8th century
  • Small, A., Thomas, C., & Wilson, D. M. St. Ninian's Isle and its Treasure. London: Oxford University Press,1973 
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