University of Oxford
10 files

Great square-headed brooch

online resource
posted on 2021-10-27, 17:51 authored by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Bronze gilt square-headed brooch, l. 10.5cm. Broad headplate with small central panel above bow bisected by upside down full face mask with prominent eyes and brow ridges, cheek blobs, nose and beard, and flanking spiral swastika motifs inside raised rect. frame which is enclosed by a frame in lower plane of punched circlets, enclosed in turn by a relief band which takes in part of lower edge of plate but is interrupted by top of bow. Around this a zone of ornament with billeting at sides and at top a pair of Style I animals facing away from each other: they have upcurled tails, single clawed foot, 'helmeted' heads with eye underlined and down-curving 'beaks' or tongues. Around this zone another relief band, and clinging to the upper corners of this and continuing along top and down sides a much obscured outer frame of zoomorphic dec. Bow short with raised median ridge and central button, and lowered panels. Upper corners of footplate have rampant creatures with large helmeted heads, necks, upraised forefeet with arched hip-joint, looped body, then diminutive hind-leg stretched out at right angles to body behind; curled excrescences at back of neck and head. Below bow, a frontal mask enclosed between forefeet of rampant animals, with prominent eyes and nose, cheeks merging into relief frame of undivided lozenge-shaped central panel of foot. This panel merges at sides into profile helmeted heads facing outwards, with rudimentary body and foot below eye, and rect. panel with punched ringlets at outer angles; at foot there is another complex fullface human mask - has well defined hair with curled bob at level of ears; eyebrows, prominent eyes and nose, mouth with upcurled mustachios, and below rect. panel with punched ringlets. At centre of lozenge panel a curly swastika as on headplate, surrounded by a flat border punched with Leeds, E.A.S. Gt. Sq. Headed Brooches (1949), type A3. He missed this specimen, which is the best preserved eg. of a type represented elsewhere at Lackford (fragmentary) no. 15A, Haslingfield no. 15, etc. Lackford is closest.This brooch probably the earliest and best of the group. An 'Anglian' type, which Leeds derived from one at Holywell Row no. 11 through Lakenheath, no. 14 (both without outer animals on headplate) through Lackford 15A and on into Cambs. region series with animal heads at upper corners.Probably from one of Cambs. region cemeteries.Either Faussett or Rolfe collection.Gatty Slip indicates object originally from either Faussett or Rolfe collection. – D.H.Group IX after Hines 1997; pers. comm. – B.B.


Grave ID


Object ID


Catalogue Number

M 7372


copper alloy, gilt (Sonia Hawkes Material Notes; bronze, gilt) (Antiquarian Material; N/A)

Complete Keyword List (Including Alternatives)

other brooches (Sonia Hawkes Keyword; brooch) (Antiquarian Keyword; N/A)




National Museums Liverpool


Mayer Collection

Category ID


Usage metrics

    The Novum Inventorium Sepulchrale


    Ref. manager