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 terminals have three projecting ears and an elongated semicircular field. Originally the brooch was mounted with nine dome-shaped glass studs, of which six survive.

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: 000-100-036-443-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 294
Date: 8th century
Buried between 750 and 825
Material: Silver gilt; terminals with three large and one small lobe round disc; green and blue glass insets; lobes with interlace and truncated outer edge; central inset on oval hoop panel, interlace on each side; plain pin with large oval inset
Dimensions: 2.75" D
What: Brooch, penannular
Where: Scotland, Shetland, St Ninian's Isle
Description: Penannular brooch of silver-gilt with insets of green and blue glass, 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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