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Kentish great square-headed brooch

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posted on 2021-10-27, 15:33 authored by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Brent 1863, 315-6: The Fibulae. Of the two long fibulae the smaller is of silver, partly gilt, and set with garnets. In the centre of the upper compartment is a circular garnet, flanked by two others of a triangular shape; all three are bordered with gold. Down the centre runs a cross, at the arms of which are semicircular garnets, and the lower end of which divides, making a border round an oval garnet at the base. A treble beading follows the oblong shape of the upper part of the fibula, and a single beading runs down the sides of the cross. The larger example is of bronze gilt, and is a fine specimen of a class frequently found and described. Its length is nearly four inches, and the front is chased with a not unusual pattern.[Card 1 breifly describing both KAS 407 and KAS 408][Card 2] Silver-gilt great square-headed brooch, length 9.4cm. Cast and worked over by graver, decoration in rather shallow 'hip-carving'. Headplate divided into two by relief bands with nielloed band leaving reserved silver zig-zag; outer panel has devolved Style I animal creeping down sides, their bodies and hind legs bend back over top - inner panel has degnerated geometric decoration. Flat outer edge has punched dots. Bow rather short and shallow has usual nielloed and down centre and at sides, and panels with degenerate Style I ornaments - two heads and a bit of bodies. Undivided foot has geometric decoration of diminishing lozenges inside nielloed band; debased rampant animals at upper corner, hind legs bent over back; marginal animals again degenerate, creeping up from foot. Back has short catchplate and hinge mechanism for pin consisting of two pierced lugs with silver bolt between with iron rust, suggesting iron spring coil and pin. The brooch has cracked across below bow and been repaired in modern times.


Grave ID

Sarre Grave 4

Object ID


Catalogue Number

KAS 407


white metal, gilt (Sonia Hawkes Material Notes; silver, gilt) (Antiquarian Material; bronze, gilt)

Complete Keyword List (Including Alternatives)

Kentish brooch (Sonia Hawkes Keyword; brooch) (Antiquarian Keyword; fibula)




Maidstone Museum


Kent Archaeological Society

Category ID


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