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From Brough of Birsay, Orkney

Postcard of Pin.
© National Museums Scotland


This bronze pin was found on the Brough of Birsay in Orkney. It was imported from Ireland sometime between 875 and 1100.

The ringed pin has a moveable ring at one end to which some thread would have been attached. The other end of the thread would have been looped over the tip of the pin to stop it from slipping out of the garment. The point has been flattened.

Ringed pins are a type of dress pin, often with decoration on the heads. They are an Irish type of pin which was adopted by Vikings, especially those living in western Europe. Examples occur in bronze and silver.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-040-626-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.HB 422
Date: Between 875 and 1100
Material: Bronze; free circular head; point of shank flattened
Dimensions: 77 mm L
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Brough of Birsay
Description: Irish ring-headed bronze pin from Birsay
  • Curle, C.L. Pictish and Norse finds from the Brough of Birsay, 1973-74. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Monograph Series 1, 1982, pp 62-3. 
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