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 a central disc around which there are three evenly-spaced lobes and, against the hoop, a fourth, wider field. The pin has a lentoid head which forms a hook.

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: 000-100-036-439-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 290
Date: 8th century
Buried between 750 and 825
Material: Silver gilt; terminals with three evenly spaced small lobes, the fourth wider against hoop with interlace; large central disc with concentric rings interrupted by radial triple bars, central insets of dark glass; oval panel on hoop with central inset; pin
Dimensions: 2.80" D
What: Brooch, penannular
Where: Scotland, Shetland, St Ninian's Isle
Description: Penannular brooch of silver-gilt with dark 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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