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Pseudo-penannular brooch


Celtic (Irish)

Production date:



Europe: British Isles: Scotland


glass; silver

Silver-gilt pseudo-fingered D-shaped brooch (bar removed). The ring of this brooch is solid silver and gilded on the front side, the gilt is applied only to the applied decoration on the back side. The hoop is rimmed with shaded flanges that transition into terminals and end with profiled bird heads. Two curved panels within the scalloped borders contain molded geometric weaves, and the top of a very deep panel with scalloped semicircular settings, now blank, has a central gold foil applied panel framed in filigree where a simple open knot is made of two snake-like strands of beaded gold wire.

At the junction of the hoop and extended terminals, two molded profile animal heads with swirling cheeks and hatched muzzles emerge from raised sickle-shaped inset panels with beaded wire frames and collars of gold pellets. The central portion of each terminal is formed by three curved segments in high relief with vertical ribbing on both facets surrounding a tall frame with an integral cast lace collar holding a round panel of shabby gold filigree. The background of the terminal is understated and textured with molded geometric weaves and divided into smaller areas by three small round frames with translucent green glass cabochons (one now missing). The raised edges of both terminals have two more bird heads, back to back, and end in empty L-shaped cells at the top and bottom, with flat, ungilded surfaces in places where the ring was cut.

The back of the brooch is plain, except for two raised circular inserts with applied gilded discs on which are three simple tubular spirals.

The pin, now incomplete, is cast with a solid loop, and a gilt silver foil with geometric weaves is riveted to the head. The hinge breaks off at the back. There is a decorative semicircle in low relief where the loop tail joins the pin. The brooch is broken in three places and mottled with holes, in most cases for early modern repair and possibly to connect to the base.