Lot 931: Frankish Gilt Radiate-Headed Brooch Pair
December 7, 2016
Harwich, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: Later 5th-6th century AD. A matched pair of silver-gilt radiate-headed bow brooches, each comprising a D-shaped headplate, shallow bow and parallel-sided footplate; the headplate with concentric bands of chip-carved running zigzag motifs, beaded outer band, raised border with offset punched triangles filled with niello, seven barrel-shaped radiating knops to the outer edge; broad bow with billeted outer panels and median ridge with niello-filled ring-and-dot motifs; broad carinated footplate with continuation of the median ring-and-dot motif flanked by chip-carve zigzag panels and beaded borders; transverse band of zigzags at the foot with offset niello-filled triangles to the lower border; two pin-lugs and catchplate to the reverse. Cf. similar brooches from Alemannic contexts at Urach and Lausanne in Beck, H. et al. Fibel und Fibeltracht, Berlin, 2000, plate 27. 53 grams total, 10cm (4"). Property of a German collector; acquired in the 1980s and 1990s. 
Condition Report: Very fine condition.