Lot 944: Anglo-Saxon Long Brooch with Mask
December 7, 2016
Harwich, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 6th century AD. A bronze bow brooch with rectangular headplate and beast-heads to the upper corners, deep bow, footplate with beast-head lappets and horse-head terminal with stylised human mask on the muzzle; pin-lug to the reverse. Cf. MacGregor, A. & Bolick, E. A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals) items 15.38, 15.39. 60 grams, 11.5cm (4 1/2"). Property of an Essex gentleman; acquired in the late 1970s. Brooches such as these were in widespread use throughout the Migration period in northern Germany, Scandinavia and Anglo-Saxon England. They were worn by all levels of society as practical safety pins for securing garments, and the decoration on them suggest Germanic religious beliefs, with the face masks possibly representing deities.
Condition Report: Fine condition. Very rare.