Brooch (back)

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found at Skaill, Sandwick, Orkney

Postcard of Brooch (back).
© National Museums Scotland

Brooch (back)

This large silver brooch was found at Skaill at Sandwick in Orkney, and is part of the largest Viking Age silver hoard found in Scotland. It was clearly meant for ostentatious display of wealth and status. This picture shows the back of the brooch.

The terminals are decorated on this side with incised decoration in geometric patterns. The pinhead has a cinquefoil clearly made with a compass, and obscured by a casting flaw. The terminals are decorated with a fret pattern.

Although the brambling decoration on the other side of the terminals links this brooch to a group within the Skaill hoard, the decoration on this side is very different in design and layout from the others.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-001-233-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.IL 4
Date: Deposited between 950 and 970
Material: Silver; large; extremities and head of pin shaped like thistle; engraved pattern on one side
Dimensions: 5.50" - 8.00" D
What: Brooch, penannular
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Sandwick, Skaill
Description: Viking silver penannular ring brooch with thistle-shaped extremities and pinhead and an engraved pattern on one side, from Skaill
  • Graham-Campbell, James. The Viking-age gold and silver of Scotland (AD 850-1100). Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland, 1995, pp. 34-48, 110. 
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