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from Tiree, Inner Hebrides

Postcard of Brooch.
© National Museums Scotland


This brass oval brooch was found on Tiree in the Inner Hebrides with a pin and perhaps the pair to this brooch, apparently from a woman's grave. The burial dates from between 850 and 950.

Like many oval brooches of the period, this example was made from two shells. This picture shows the inner face of the outer openwork shell. The silver wires which threaded between both shells are visible in places.

Oval brooches are a very distinctive form of jewellery worn by Viking women in pairs to fasten the straps of a pinafore. They were mass produced in Scandinavia and widely copied.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-002-100-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 219
Date: 10th century
Between 850 and 950
Material: Oval; bowl-shaped
Dimensions: 4.50" x 2.75" x 1.50"
Where: Scotland, Argyll, Tiree
Description: Oval brooch with textile remains on the reverse, from Tiree, 10th century
  • Graham-Campbell, James and Batey, Colleen E. Vikings in Scotland. An Archaeological Survey. Edinburgh: University Press, 1998, p 87. 
  • Grieg, Sigurd. Viking Antiquities in Scotland (=Viking Antiquities in Great Britain and Ireland, Part II, ed. by Haakon Shetelig). Oslo: H. Aschehoug & Co., 1940, p 63. 
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