Auction 298  20 Jun 2024
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Lot 274

Estimate: 4000 GBP
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Anglo-Saxon, mid-late 6th century, a gilt-bronze square-headed brooch, measuring 13.6cm x 6.2cm, the rectangular headplate has chip carved decoration with central face mask with prominent circular eyes enclosed by a raised border with punched dots. The field around is filled with debased zoomorphic elements incorporating lentoid eyes. The arched bow has three ribs, the central one with a small central disc. The extended footplate has a raised mid-rib with punched dots, and the field is richly decorated with running scroll work divided by dotted borders. Semi-circul;ar side lobes and discoid terminal lobe, shoulders with animal heads. Complete, almost extremely fine with most of the gilding remaining £4,000-£6,000


Provenance: Originally found in County Durham

Square headed brooches are the most impressive of the Anglo-saxon bow brooches with elaborate chip carved decoration and richly gilded. They were worn by women as a status symbol in rural societies.
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