School/style: Urnes style
Cultures/periods: Viking (Late Viking Period), Late Anglo-Saxon
Production date: 11thC(late)
Found/Acquired: Europe: British Isles: England: Somerset (England): Pitney
Materials: copper alloy, gold
Copper alloy disc brooch with gilding, Urnes style. On the convex surface of the circular brooch within the serrated border is an openwork drawing of a ribbon-curled animal fighting a snake. The head has a pronounced ribbon-shaped eye and an S-shaped projection on the upper jaw; a second projection protrudes from the neck. The creature bites its body, which consists of simple and beaded bands, forming a heart-shaped loop. It has spiral-shaped hips; a sharply curved front paw ends in a three-toed foot, and the hind paw divides into two antennae, the longer of which is intertwined with the body and ends in a leaf-shaped trefoil. The head of the snake with two prominent eyes, when viewed from above, bisects the animal's neck. Its slender body with one tendril branch is intertwined with the animal's body and ends in two twisted tendrils. The reverse side of the brooch is also gilded, and it retains the remains of a loop and a latch for a pin, which has now been lost.