Base of a silver bowl

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found on St Ninian's Isle, Dunrossness, Shetland

Postcard of Base of a silver bowl.
© National Museums Scotland

Base of a silver bowl

This is the base of a silver bowl found in a hoard of Pictish metalwork on St Ninian's Isle at Dunrossness in Shetland. The hoard was buried for safe keeping sometime between 750 and 825.

The base is decorated with punched dots forming geometric patterns. The use of dots forming patterns or backgrounds was typical of Pictish craftsmen at this time.

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: 000-190-001-159-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 273
Date: 8th century
Buried between 750 and 825
Material: Silver; basal depression; lines of dots form pendant triangles on upper zone, interlace on middle and a key pattern on the lower zone; inside base an applied triangular escutcheon, gilded human faces at corners, cast openwork interlace in three panels in
Dimensions: 5.60" D x 1.40" deep
What: Bowl
Where: Scotland, Shetland, St Ninian's Isle
Description: Bowl of silver decorated with lines of dots and gilded human faces, from St Ninian's Isle, Pictish, 8th century
  • Calder, Jenni. The wealth of a nation. Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland and Glasgow: Richard Drew Publishing, 1989, p 158. 
  • Small, A., Thomas, C., & Wilson, D. M. St. Ninian's Isle and its Treasure. London: Oxford University Press,1973 
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