Anglo-Saxon 'Hooked Cross' Cruciform Brooch 020356

Anglo-Saxon 'Hooked Cross' Cruciform Brooch 020356
Excessively Rare Anglo-Saxon 'Hooked Cross' Cruciform Brooch
Copper-alloy, 38.53 grams, 122.54 mm. 5th-6th century AD. An Anglian cruciform brooch with two unusual features. The square headplate with central motif is flanked by expanding lateral wings; a single D-section collared knop is placed above. The deep, carinated bow with facetted ends displays a pair of medial ribs. The footplate evolves from a transverse banded collar to a stylized horse-head with bulbous eyes, flared nostrils and pelta-shaped finial. The catchplate and spring-lug are still mostly present. Between the eyes of the horse is a bilinear inverted chevron. On the headplate is a raised central motif of a hooked cross with anti-clockwise spiralling arms; decoration on the headplate is usually confined to a stamped border or a ring-and-dot motif. The presence of the spiral hooked cross in this prominent position must be presumed to have had symbolic or religious content: the hooked cross is often associated with Þunor, the thunder-god whose hammer protected and blessed mankind and was sometimes worn as an amulet. Reference: MacGregor, A. & Bolick, E. A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non-Ferrous Metals), BAR British Series 230, 1993, p.101 item 12.14 and cf. the ring-and-dot motifs on item 12.15. Good very fine condition, some loss to one wing. Provenance: from an old English collection.
 
This item was accompanied by an illustrated Certificate of Authenticity.

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