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Middle Anglo-Saxon

Production date:



glass; silver

A set of triple pins with silver gilding. Each disc-headed pin has a composite design: the stem is cast separately and riveted to the disc through a highly schematic terminal in the form of an animal head on a hipped stem. The head of each pin is gilded and densely decorated with carvings. Each pin is attached to another by an elongated rhombus-shaped link with pierced round terminals through which a wire loop connects them to neighboring pins. The links are carved with a spiral ornament and gouge. The center and left pins, although differing in detail, apparently belong to the same original pattern; both have been repaired at the junction with the pin shaft. They share a cross-shaped design consisting of an equal-shouldered cross with widened ends and circular "pits" set at an angle to the pin shaft. The central part of the cross is decorated with a glass rim, and a perforated border runs around the perimeter of the cross. On the left disc, one arm contains pure lace, the other two have a symmetrically interwoven floral ornament emerging from the base of a "flower pot", and the fourth arm has a winged animal woven into a skein of lace. The three remaining arms have separate pierced details. The middle disc is the largest; its panels are filled with winged animals with lightly carved collars and other body markings woven into the weave; opposing pairs in the two upper arms, a pair with addition and a single animal of the same type as the opposing animals in the lower arms. All are perforated on the body. The right disc is obviously a substitute, as it differs in style and location. A cross-shaped pattern with a (blank) central part is also observed here, but it is based on a cross with extended terminals. A rope border encircles the entire disc, and there are simple borders in the ribbon-like spaces between the handles, each depicting various creatures entangled in the occasional foliate weave; two are in profile, two with outstretched eagles. All have inlaid glass eyes; they are pecked and tend to be a bit frayed around the edges, unlike the smooth lines of ornamentation on the other pins. The backs of all the discs are smooth, but the last one is gilded.