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Lot 949: Anglo-Saxon Bird Brooch Pair

Antiquities: Day 2

by TimeLine Auctions

December 7, 2016

Harwich, United Kingdom

Live Auction
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Description: 6th century AD. A pair of cast copper-alloy plate brooches in the form of stylised birds with lozengiform bodies, D-shaped tails, crescent claws and hooked beaks with annular eyes; notched detailing to the interior of each panel. Cf. eagle plate brooch from Coddenham, Suffolk, in West, S. A Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Finds From Suffolk, East Anglian Archaeology 84, Ipswich, 1998, item 23(7"). 6.53 grams total, 29mm (1 1/4"). From an important London collection, acquired 1984 inventory no.84.912 / cat.2034. Bird brooches were popular throughout the fifth and sixth centuries AD and were worn in pairs, often in combination with radiate-head brooches and were most likely worn in a horizontal position to suggest that they were flying, which would explain the position of the wings close to the body and the talons curved as if ready to swoop. [2]

Condition Report: Very fine condition.

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