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LOT 0918

Sold for (Inc. bp): £5,580

1 3/4" (33 grams, 44mm).

A bronze box brooch with traces of original gilding, discoid in plan with slightly tapering sidewall with a band of dense interlace; the upper face with a triskele of beasts each executed in three-strand banding with profile bird-head, pellet to the neck and pellet eye, all surrounding a central pellet; hollow to the reverse with catchplate and pin-lug, remains of ferrous pin.

Property of a gentleman; acquired from an antiques dealer in the 1990s; formerly in a 19th century collection.

Cf. box brooches in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, in MacGregor, A. et al. A Summary Catalogue of the Continental Archaeological Collections, Oxford, 1997, item 1.1; Arwidsson, G. Valsgärde 7, Uppsala, 1977.

Supplied with a positive X-Ray Fluorescence analysis certificate.

Stylistically the present brooch is a very early type of box brooch, lower and flatter than the examples from the Viking age. These normally feature a slightly domed upper face divided into quadrants with beast-head detailing but this example features a triskele of Style II zoomorphic motifs. The antecedents of the design appear to lie in the Uppland region of Sweden and specifically such items as the shield-boss found in the Mound 7 ship-burial at Valsgärde (Arwidsson, 1977).