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.

Each terminal has three lobes and a similar field where the hoop joins the terminal. The central disc contains concentric circles around a setting for a blue glass stud.

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: 000-100-036-438-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 289
Date: 8th century
Buried between 750 and 825
Material: Silver; terminals with four lobes, concentric circles in centre round blue glass insets; on centre of hoop similar inset with concentric circles, a lobe on either side with bird's head; pin with lozenge panel containing interlace; similar large panel on h
Dimensions: 2.60" D
What: Brooch, penannular
Where: Scotland, Shetland, St Ninian's Isle
Description: Penannular brooch of silver, the terminals decorated with concentric circles around blue glass insets, 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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