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Lot 949: Anglo-Saxon Bird Brooch Pair
December 7, 2016
Harwich, United KingdomLive Auction
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. 
Condition Report: Very fine condition.