University of Oxford
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Disc Brooch

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posted on 2022-12-14, 12:47 authored by Woruldhord Project Team

AN00752777_001_l. Dished gilt copper-alloy disc brooch, Urnes style. Within a scalloped border, the convex surface of the circular brooch bears an openwork design of a coiled, ribbon animal in combat with a snake. The head has a pronounced lentoid eye, and an S-shaped lappet on the upper jaw; a second lappet projects from the neck. The creature bites its own body, which is composed of a plain and a beaded band, forming a heart-shaped loop. It has spiral hips; the sharply angled foreleg terminates in a three-toed foot and the hind-leg divides into two tendrils, the longer one interlacing with the body to terminate in a foliate trefoil. A snake's head with two prominent eyes, seen from above, bites the animal's neck. Its thin body, with one tendril offshoot, interlaces with that of the animal, and ends in two scrolled tendrils. The reverse of the brooch is also gilded, with the remains of the hinge and catch-plate for the pin, which is now lost. All these images are © Trustees of the British Museum. These free low-resolution images are covered also under the British Museum's Terms and Conditions ( The full image collection is available at: where you can also order high resolution copies.



11th Century

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British Museum


The British Museum

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