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 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 terminals each have three lobes and an elongated semicircular field around a disc. The pin is incomplete, lacking its head and loop.

The St Ninian's Isle hoard contained precious metalwork which probably belonged to a Pictish chief. The valuable objects were buried for safekeeping, perhaps at a time of danger such as a Viking raid.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-036-437-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 288
Date: 8th century
Buried between 750 and 825
Material: Silver; terminals with four lobes round a disc; tripartite panel on hoop with central inset between knots; corded rib along each edge of hoop; upper half of pin missing
Dimensions: 2.80" D
What: Brooch, penannular
Where: Scotland, Shetland, St Ninian's Isle
Description: Penannular brooch of silver with triple-lobed terminals, animal heads and and knots, 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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