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Home > Auctions > 24th May 2022 > 'The Bridlington' Anglo-Saxon Florid Brooch

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LOT 0393

GBP (£) 3,000 - 4,000
EUR (€) 3,500 - 4,670
USD ($) 3,750 - 5,000

Sold for (Inc. bp): £4,420



A large cruciform brooch of the later 'florid' form with highly decorative openwork border to the headplate formed as a rectangular median plate with lateral wings, enhanced with punched-pellet detail to the sides and top edge of each; raised central square panel; to the middle of each edge a Style I human mask in plan, formed as a T-shaped brow-and-nasal with two pellet eyes, with pairs of Style I profile bird-heads with curved beaks; the bow deep with facetting at each end; the footplate rectangular with Style I lappets and punched-pellet border; the transverse collar with two rows of punched-pellet detail; the finial a Style I human mask with two columns of punched-pellet detail extending to the peltoid terminal; the overall decorative effect forming a triangular band of Style I openwork ornament broken only at the bow and terminal; pin-lugs and base of catchplate to reverse. 4 3/4 in. (75 grams, 12.1 cm). Fine condition.

Found whilst searching with a metal detector in February 2022 near Bridlington, East Yorkshire, UK.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate no.11167-188071.

Cf. The British Museum, museum number 1883,0401.160, for similar; cf. Hammond, B., British Artefacts vol.1 - Early Anglo-Saxon, Witham, 2009, fig., for similar.

The staring male face on the footplate, with fierce eyes and prominent moustache, probably represents a divinity such as the thunder-god, Thunor (later Thor).