Anglo-Saxon Cruciform, Long and Bow Brooches For Sale
During the 5th century, the late Roman crossbow fibula – a fastener on which the pin and clasp are visible - was adapted by various Germanic peoples, including the Anglo-Saxons, into a new format. The rudimentary Roman face-plate was developed into a more extensive surface, covering the hinge, clasp and bow. With the Germanic love of decoration, this surface was soon utilized for purposes of display with punched decoration, cast ornament and chip-carved detailing. Early Saxon forms include the Equal-Arm Brooch, a type which is found mainly in southern England and the ‘Elbe-Weser triangle’ on the north German coast, in which two trapezoidal plates were joined by a narrow bow. Among the Angles and southern Scandinavians, the long brooch or bow-brooch became popular, in which the two plates were treated differently: one became wide and rectangular (the headplate) while the other became elongated and often lozengiform. Both these plates and the bow itself soon began to display ornamentation, usually highly restricted in its content and confined within rigidly defined zones. Over time, the typical forms grew into several series: ‘cruciform’, ‘small-long’, ‘square-headed’ and ‘great square-headed’ are the commoner ones. By the mid-7th century, some very exaggerated forms of brooch were in use.
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