Extremely Rare Norman/Anglo-Scandinavian 'Polyhedral' Pin Finial
Silver gilt, 10.22 grams, 12.19 mm. 10th-12th century AD. A beautifully detailed head from a substantial Norman / Anglo-Scandinavian or possibly slightly later pin. The top bears an incised circle enclosing a panel of gold foil. Each of the four sides is similarly decorated, but with an inscribed curvilinear lozenge filled with niello. The flattened upper corners bear roundels. The lower face is rounded to meet the shaft of the pin, lost in antiquity. Reference: reported to the PAS and published in the 2001 Treasure Report (Case 2002 T86): Description: A medieval, cube-shaped finial with slightly rounded facets, four of which are decorated with circles inlaid with gold and carrying a four point design drawn in niello. Within the spandrel formed by the meeting of these circles is placed another, smaller circle in relief. This decoration might indicate the ‘top’ of the finial. The top facet has gold inlay but without any niello, whilst the bottom has no decoration, merely evidence of a break where it has been wrenched from the object to which it was originally attached. Dimensions and metal content: Weight 10.2 g. X-ray fluorescence analysis conducted at the British Museum indicated an approximate silver content of 96 per cent. See also: cf. the hexagonal pin finial published in West. S. A Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Finds From Suffolk, East Anglian Archaeology 84, Ipswich, 1998 p.252 no.5. Very fine condition. Provenance: found North Ormsby, Lincolnshire, England on 24th November 2001 and disclaimed as Treasure by the Crown.