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.

Customers and site-visitors may have noticed that the Anglo-Saxon site pages have been revised. As part of our ongoing programme of improving the quality and reliability of our site, the ‘Saxon’ pages have been amended in the light of further detailed research. We aim to roll this out across the rest of the site in due course. Please check back for updates.
Saxon Brooches Main MenuSaxon Brooches Main MenuSaxon Antiquities Main MenuSaxon Antiquities Main Menu


Anglo Saxon 'Large Hybrid' Cruciform Brooch 010404

Anglo-Saxon Giant 'Large Hybrid' Cruciform Brooch
Copper-alloy, 160 grams, 181.52 mm, 7.16 inches. Circa 6th century AD. A large, very fine quality, unique hybrid type brooch based on the cruciform and square-headed bow-brooches. The headplate of the brooch is surrounded by three wings or lappets; each consists of a banded column flanked by two birds’ heads facing outwards, their beaks pierced, supporting flat panels decorated with sheet silver. The central panel of the headplate consists of a billeted border enclosing an upper zone with three elliptical pellets; below this is a rectangular field with Style I decoration surrounding a central square panel. The bow has raised lateral ridges and a broader central ridge with a central cell. The footplate is divided into three zones. The upper zone features a central rectangular panel with Style I motifs flanked by fields of Style I zoomorphs; outside these are flat lappets covered with silver sheet. An addorsed pair of birds’ heads with pierced beaks forms he second zone. Below this an expanding trapezoidal field develops into a further lateral pair of birds’ heads with pierced beaks, flanked by c-scroll details with silver-sheet inlay. The central trapezoidal field bears a Style I zoomorph. The lower edge abuts a further sheet-silver plate, rectangular with two small rectangular flanches removed. The brooch is a hybrid form, unpublished in the standard publications but clearly based on the more developed cruciform types (compare MacGregor, A. & Bolick, E. A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals) BAR British Series 230, 1993, p.106 items 12.28, 12.37) but with details taken from great square-headed brooches. The decoration is crisp, the gilding remains across the surface in the incisions and the silver sheet is largely intact. Reference: Hines, J. A New Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Great Square-Headed Brooches, Woodbridge, 1997. Published: Hammond, Brett. British Artefacts, volume I - Early Anglo-Saxon. Good very fine condition. Found Leicestershire. This lot is accompanied by an XRF ancient metal test certificate from Oxford X-ray Fluorescence Ltd.
£7,750.00

more info

Anglo Saxon 'Large Hybrid' Cruciform Brooch 010404
Anglo-Saxon 'Trefoil' Small-Long Brooch 027667

Anglo-Saxon 'Trefoil' Small-Long Brooch
Copper-alloy, 12.40 grams, 10.66 mm. 6th century AD. A cast small-long bow brooch. The headplate is square with a short neck and D-shaped plaque on three sides, each with two parallel incised lines near the base. The bow is deep, chamfered to each end and the footplate is long with a transverse ribbed collar and trapezoidal footplate with two parallel incised lines at the lower edge. The pin-lug and catchplate are present on the reverse with a block of ferrous accretion. Reference: MacGregor, A. & Bolick, E. A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals), Oxford, 1993 items 15.66, 67, 68. Very fine condition. Provenance: found Suffolk, UK.
£120.00

more info

Anglo-Saxon 'Trefoil' Small-Long Brooch 027667
Anglo-Saxon 'Group 2' Cruciform Brooch 026524

Anglo-Saxon 'Group 2' Cruciform Brooch
Copper-alloy, 61 grams, 11.5 cm. 6th century AD. A cast cruciform bow brooch with rectangular headplate, tapering bow and elongated foot. The headplate is a plain, flat-section rectangular plaque with scored lines indicating the division between the headplate and lateral wings. The knops are of the earliest form, modelled in the round and each with slight flattening to the reverse, with a ribbed collar and attachment peg. The bow is broad, facetted at each end and slightly tapering towards the trapezoidal footplate with stylised bird-head lappets. The ribbed collar extends to a horse-head finial with rounded pellet eyes and cupped muzzle, slightly hollow to the reverse. The pin is attached to a ferrous spring and the catchplate is complete. Many of the features of the brooch are early - such as the non-segmented headplate, separate knops, lack of punched detailing and presence of the spring - but the broad headplate is unusual on the earliest brooches. Reference: cf. the brooch from Burlington, Cambridgeshire in MacGregor, A. & Bolick, E. A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals), item 12.22; Hammond, B. British Artefacts Volume 1 - Early Anglo-Saxon, p.30, fig.1.1.4.1-a. Very fine condition. Provenance: found Cambridgeshire, UK.
£495.00

more info

Anglo-Saxon 'Group 2' Cruciform Brooch 026524
Anglo-Saxon 'Group 2' Cruciform Brooch 026525

Anglo-Saxon 'Group 2' Cruciform Brooch
Copper-alloy, 64 grams, 12.5 cm. 6th century AD. A cast cruciform bow brooch with rectangular headplate, deep bow and elongated foot. The headplate is rectangular with slightly trapezoidal wings and a single collared and domed knop to the upper edge. The bow is facetted at the top and bottom, with two vertical incised lines. The footplate is rectangular with a broad ribbed collar below extending to a horse-head finial with pellet eyes and coiled disc nostrils. To the reverse the pin-lug is encased in a ferrous accretion and the catchplate is in place. Reference: cf. brooch from Ixworth, Suffolk in MacGregor, A. & Bolick, E. A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals), item 12.14. Very fine condition. Provenance: from an old English collection.
£395.00

more info

Anglo-Saxon 'Group 2' Cruciform Brooch 026525
Anglo-Saxon 'Transitional Type' Cruciform Brooch 026522

Anglo-Saxon 'Transitional Type' Cruciform Brooch
Copper-alloy, 102 grams, 14.5 cm including stand. 5th century AD. A cast bow brooch with square headplate, three radiating integral collared knops cast in the round, deep D-section bow, long slender footplate with beast-head terminal. The reverse of the footplate features a tapering catchplate; the reverse of the headplate bears a ferrous concretion, the remains of the pin and spring. The brooch displays many of the features of the standard Roman crossbow brooch, but the 'horse-head' detail to the footplate and the iron pin indicate an early Anglo-Saxon origin. The brooch lacks the later distinctive 6th century features such as the separately-cast knops and rectangular headplate with lateral wings, and must be regarded as a transitional type. It is supplied with a custom-made stand. Reference: MacGregor, A. & Bolick, E. A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals), Oxford 1993, item 12.1 and Hattatt, R. Ancient and Romano-British Brooches, item 104. Very fine condition. Provenance: found Barrington, Cambridgeshire, UK.
£225.00

more info

Anglo-Saxon 'Transitional Type' Cruciform Brooch 026522
Anglo-Saxon 'Cross Potent' Small-Long Brooch 026726

Anglo-Saxon 'Trefoil' Small-Long Brooch
Copper-alloy, 15.64 grams, 67.60 mm. 6th century AD. A cast bow brooch. The head is rectangular with cross-potent extensions. The bow is narrow and shallow, the footplate flares to a T-shape finial with saltire detail on a raised pad. To the reverse is a catchplate and two pin-lugs with ferrous accretion. Reference: MacGregor, A. & Bolick, E. A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals), Oxford, 1993 item 15.59. Very fine condition. Provenance: from an old English collection; acquired in the 1980s.
£95.00

more info

Anglo-Saxon 'Cross Potent' Small-Long Brooch 026726
Anglo-Saxon 'Trefoil' Small-Long Brooch 024943

Anglo-Saxon 'Trefoil' Small-Long Brooch
Copper-alloy, 14.41 grams, 61.37 mm. 6th century AD. A sturdy small-long bow brooch. The headplate is square with three rectangular extensions, each with transverse ribbing at the base. The bow is rectangular in section, the footplate ribbed with chamfered edges. The finial is a D-shaped plaque. To the reverse, the pin-lug and catchplate are in place. The head of the brooch is a slender example of the trefoil format which appears regularly on this class of brooch. Reference: MacGregor, A. & Bolick, E. A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals), Oxford, 1993 item 15.52. Very fine condition, pin-lug broken. Provenance: found Wiltshire, UK.
£150.00

more info

Anglo-Saxon 'Trefoil' Small-Long Brooch 024943
Anglo-Saxon 'Group III' Cruciform Brooch 022889

Scarce Large Anglo-Saxon 'Group III' Cruciform Brooch
Copper-alloy, 47.42 grams, 127.41 mm. 6th century AD. A cast cruciform bow brooch with rectangular headplate, shallow bow and elongated foot. The headplate is square with T-shaped lateral 'wing' extensions, each with a knop modelled in the half-round. Above the upper edge is a further, larger knop. The bases of the lateral knops are ornamented with a series of horseshoe punchmarks which extended around the outer edges of the wings, while the headplate itself features two rows of chevron stamps each with a ring at the apex. The bow is carinated in profile, with chamfered edges. The footplate is a rectangular panel with two L-shaped lappets, each with horseshoe punchmarks to the outer edges. The finial is a stylised horse-head beneath a ribbed collar, with raised cone eyes, spiral nostrils and a rectangular plaque at the lower end ornamented with horseshoe stamps. The pin-lug and catchplate are present on the reverse, with ferrous stain from the pin. Reference: cf. cruciform brooch from Sancton, Yorkshire, published in MacGregor, A. & Bolick, E. A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals) item 12.26 and cf. finial on the example from Darlington in the same volume, item 12.30; Hammond, B. British Artefacts Volume 1 - Early Anglo-Saxon, p.30, fig.1.1.4.1-a. Extremely fine condition. Provenance: found Leicestershire, UK.
£950.00

more info

Anglo-Saxon 'Group III' Cruciform Brooch 022889
Anglo-Saxon 'Early Type' Cruciform Brooch 023461

Anglo-Saxon 'Early Type' Cruciform Brooch
Copper-alloy, 5.45 grams, 47.72 mm. Circa 5th-6th century AD. A cast copper-alloy brooch of a very early type, formed with a plain rectangular headplate, thick bow and flat footplate. The headplate is ornamented with three knops to the side and top edges. The bow is round-section and the footplate has a transverse collar and flat discoid finial. To the reverse, the pin-lug and catchplate are in place. Reference: cf. Hattatt, R. Brooches of Antiquity, Oxford, 1987 item 1301. Very fine condition. Provenance: found Hampshire, UK.
£35.00

more info

Anglo-Saxon 'Early Type' Cruciform Brooch 023461
Anglo-Saxon 'Cruciform' Brooch 023429

Anglo-Saxon 'Cruciform' Brooch
Copper-alloy, 75 grams, 130 mm. Circa 5th-6th century AD. A large example with square headplate with asymmetrical knops (two half-round, one full-round), deep carinated bow with facetted ends, remains of lateral lappets and collared footplate, animal-head finial with strong central rib, remains of pin-lug and catchplate on reverse. Reference: cf. MacGregor & Bolick, A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals) BAR British Series no.230, Oxford, 1993 nos.12.6, 12.32, 12.21. Good fine condition, composite from original elements.
£275.00

more info

Anglo-Saxon 'Cruciform' Brooch 023429
Anglo-Saxon 'Cruciform' Brooch 023431

Anglo-Saxon 'Cruciform' Brooch
Copper-alloy, 27 grams, 100 mm. Circa 5th-6th century AD. A trefoil-headed example with eye-detail on the collar of the top knop, flat D-shaped knops, punched border on headplate, facetted bow, footplate with D-shaped lateral lappets, animal-head finial, pin-lug and catchplate in place on reverse. Reference: cf. MacGregor & Bolick, A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals) BAR British Series no.230, Oxford, 1993 nos.12.6, 12.32, 12.21. Good fine condition, composite from original elements.
£90.00

more info

Anglo-Saxon 'Cruciform' Brooch 023431
Anglo-Saxon 'Raised Headplate' Cruciform Brooch 003773

Anglo-Saxon 'Raised Headplate' Cruciform Brooch
Copper-alloy, 26.27 grams, 83.72 mm. Circa 7th century AD. The raised rectangular headplate is surmounted by a cast top-knob with domed terminal and ribbed collar, with two rectangular lateral wings. The bow bears a central rib decoration, abraded in the central portion, and transverse ribbing. The footplate bears a rectilinear panel and animal-head decoration with prominent eyes and rounded nostril detailing. The catchplate is intact, complete with remains of the iron pin. Reference: MacGregor, A. & Bolick, E. A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals) BAR British Series 230, 1993, p.97 item 12.4. Very fine condition.
£95.00

more info

Anglo-Saxon 'Raised Headplate' Cruciform Brooch 003773


Back to previous page largerBack to previous page