Collection online

pseudo-penannular brooch

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Silver pseudo-penannular brooch with plain hoop of almost circular cross-section, with subtriangular terminals each bearing cast decoration of four raised circular brambled bosses in plain collars with ribbed spandrels in between. A plain bridge links the terminals. Crouched animals with large oval eyes confront each other across the gap, their billeted hindquarters terminating in scrolled legs. On the back of each terminal are two crudely incised concentric circles with punched dots between. The pinhead is spherical and cast in one around the hoop; decoration consists of a median row of recessed billets and a matching collar above a short conical tenon, which would have originally been soldered on to a separate pin shank.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 9thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 40 millimetres (hoop)
    • Length: 21 millimetres (pinhead)
    • Weight: 27.56 grammes
  • Curator's comments

    Youngs 1989a
    This brooch marks an important stage in the development of new native Irish styles in silver that culminated in the massive bossed and thistle brooches of the late ninth and tenth centuries.

    See also curatorial comment for 1872,0520.14.

    Date given as mid-late 9th century.

    Bibliography: Smith, R.A. 1914. Irish Brooches of Five Centuries, ‘Archaeologia’ LXV, 240, fig. 13; Graham-Campbell, J. 1972. Two groups of ninth-century Irish brooches, ‘Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland’ 102, 120ff., pl. 19.Bibliography: Journal of British Archaeological Association 1848-49 p.316. Smith 1906 pp.67-8, fig.6; Chatterton 1839 vol II, pp.214-5.


  • Bibliography

    • Youngs 1989a 88 bibliographic details
    • Graham-Campbell 1972 p.120, pl.19 bibliographic details
    • Smith 1914 p.240, fig.13, p.248 bibliographic details
    • Graham-Campbell & Briggs 1986 p.310 bibliographic details
    • Cahill & O Floinn 1995 pp.65-83 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G41/dc16/sA

  • Exhibition history

    1990-1991 Oct-Feb, Edinburgh, Royal Museum of Scotland, The Work of Angels: Masterpieces of Irish Metalwork
    1990 7 May-30 Sep, Dublin, National Museum of Ireland, The Work of Angels: Masterpieces of Irish Metalwork
    1989-1990 29 Nov-29 Apr, London, British Museum, The Work of Angels: Masterpieces of Irish Metalwork

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: MCS14801

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