Brooch (back)

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found at Skaill, Sandwick, Orkney

Postcard of Brooch (back).
© National Museums Scotland

Brooch (back)

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

The pinhead has a punched and engraved geometric design on this side. At the centre is a crudely outlined cross within a border, a motif repeated on the top of the pinhead. The pinhead and hoop are very worn, in contrast to the shaft of the pin.

Although the brambling decoration on the other side of the terminal balls 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: 000-190-001-234-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 6
Date: Deposited between 950 and 970
Material: With thistle-like pinhead
What: Brooch, penannular
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Sandwick, Skaill
Description: Penannular brooch with thistle-like pinhead, 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, 111. 
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