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Home > Auctions > 21st February 2023 > Anglo-Saxon Chip-Carved Saucer Brooch with Face of Woden

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LOT 0262

Estimate
GBP (£) 800 - 1,000
EUR (€) 900 - 1,130
USD ($) 990 - 1,230

Opening Bid
£720 (EUR 814; USD 887) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0
ANGLO-SAXON CHIP-CARVED SAUCER BROOCH WITH FACE OF WODEN
5TH-8TH CENTURY A.D.
7/8 in. (5.2 grams, 23 mm).

A superb chip-carved saucer or button brooch with extensive remains of gilding, displaying a stylised male face with puffy cheeks, large ears, long moustache, raised pellet eyes of different sizes, hair dressed in vertical ribs alternating plain and textured, some chevron and pellet patterning to the face; stub remains of catch fitting to reverse.

PROVENANCE:
Found UK.
Acquired in the 1990s.
From a North Yorkshire private collection, UK.

LITERATURE:
Cf. Avent, R. and Evison, V., Anglo-Saxon Button Brooches, in Archaeologia Or Miscellaneous Tracts Relating To Antiquity, London Society of Antiquaries, Volume CVII, London, 1982, pl.XV-XVI, for types.

FOOTNOTES:
The brooch does not fall neatly into Avent & Evison's typology, being somewhat larger than the standard forms of button brooch and with an unusually detailed face. Broadly, it resembles Class J with alternating plain and textured vertical strands in the hair but does not have the horizontal band across the brow nor the stylised beard associated with the type.
The eccentric placement of the eyes suggests that the image may be the face of the god Woden (Odin) who famously sacrificed one eye in exchange for wisdom.

CONDITION