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A nice suprise!

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 10:27 am
by Spearhead
When I dig up finds I give them a look over but never rub the mud off as it can take off any surface patination. This happened on Wednesday when I found this domed disc at about 6" deep with the Nox 800 on field 1, it came up as number 25.
My first impression was that it was a Victorian floral mount, nice but nothing special, it was muddy and I hadn't got my glasses with me. I was still on a high having found the Anglo Saxon decorated cruciform brooch and hour or so earlier that I reported yesterday in the ID section of the forum.
I stored it away and eventually went home with my cruciform brooch, a broken Charles 1st sixpence a Roman 3rd century bronze coin and a Medi purse bar. Not a bad day.
It was not until the following day that I washed and looked at my "lesser" finds from the day. That is
when it dawned on me that the Victorian floral mount wasn't a Victorian floral mount.

The most obvious design on the domed disc were the six human heads. I had not seen anything quite like it so I consulted Mr Google. Eventually I found a very close match on
The British Museum's on line collection , number 1970.0406.140

They described it as an Anglo Saxon 5th to 7th century AD applied copper alloy brooch with a repousse front plate showing six human masks, see image below, my version is in much better condition than the BM's one but mine has lost its back plate. It was excavated from grave 249 in the pagan Anglo Saxon cemetery at Mucking, a solid Saxon provenence. My brooch clearly displays the six human masks and the beaded decoration is different on mine too. Mine has a hole in the centre which may have contained a stone of some sort or may be a later adaptation?


I think on this match it is reasonable to date my find as from the same period and to associate it as the same type of find. Also the cruciform brooch came from the same field.
I wonder who the six men were, they were clearly recognisable to the people viewing the brooches.
I hope that you are as interested as my dog's toy parrot seems too be!

Re: A nice suprise!

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 11:06 am
by SuperRed
Wow... that is a cracker Spearhead. One for the FLO?

PS: impressed that your dog's parrot has survived. It would last about 5 mins with my 3 Borders :D

Brad

Re: A nice suprise!

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 11:32 am
by littleboot
Excellent find....I too wait till I get home to clean and examine finds. Had some nice surprises myself...but none as good as yours!
Love the heads. Very pagan and evocative.

Re: A nice suprise!

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 11:44 am
by bazzerhut
Oooh, that's an absolutely splendid and rare find. You're on a roll there, intcha?

Barry

Re: A nice suprise!

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 1:22 pm
by Mancave-man
Very nice. The brooch isn't bad either! =))

Re: A nice suprise!

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 2:06 pm
by Oxgirl36
That is a very beautiful item. I'm guessing it would have bedn gilded? Whatever the finish I bet it would have looked very impressive when it was worn :D
Thanks for all the info too. It really adds to the story ::g

Re: A nice suprise!

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 5:34 pm
by Swany
Nice one Spearhead, looks the part, I hope the Flo agrees, well done, sometimes I take coin balls home to crack them open, never had anything like that fall out though ::g

Re: A nice suprise!

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 5:55 pm
by fred
I certainly hope that you are right. ::g It does also have a passing resemblance to a 17thC furniture handle plate too though. :D

Re: A nice suprise!

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 6:00 pm
by bazzerhut
fred wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:55 pm
I certainly hope that you are right. ::g It does also have a passing resemblance to a 17thC furniture handle plate too though. :D

Shhhhh, we're dreaming sweetly here...

Barry

Re: A nice suprise!

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 6:31 pm
by Spearhead
fred wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 5:55 pm
I certainly hope that you are right. ::g It does also have a passing resemblance to a 17thC furniture handle plate too though. :D
I am very happy if alternative ids are put forward, especially if there are images to go with the suggestion. ::g

Re: A nice suprise!

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 6:37 pm
by Spearhead
Here are some more 5th century composite brooches showing six heads. Note also the central hole in the LH one. I know they are different to mine but appear to be part of the same category and confirmed by the BM as 5th century.

Re: A nice suprise!

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 6:55 pm
by dig-dog
Anthropomorphic disc brooch l;.
Cracking find
DD. ::g

Re: A nice suprise!

Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 10:36 am
by Roughwood
That's blooming brilliant!

Just the sort of thing I hope to find whenever I go detecting ::g

Re: A nice suprise!

Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 10:46 am
by sweepstick47
What a cracking example. Rather more than a 'nice surprise'. It seems you're on a roll::g
Regards ss47

Re: A nice suprise!

Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 1:25 pm
by Spearhead
Two other high status Saxon finds have come off of the same field, my decorated cruciform brooch and my detecting buddy had a lovely gold and garnet Saxon pendant. I would like to think that these two finds add weight to my belief that the "head brooch" dates to the same period.

Re: A nice suprise!

Posted: Sun May 26, 2019 9:21 pm
by Barbossa76
A very nice find