Anglo-Saxon Brooches For Sale
Anglo-Saxon brooches fall into several categories based on their overall shape: long, round, zoomorphic, etc. The majority of excavated brooches have been found in adult female graves, where two small examples – usually made and decorated as a pair – fasten the dress or peplos tunic at the shoulders. In some wealthier graves, a larger and more decorative brooch is also present, placed at the throat or chest, which probably held a mantle or shawl in place over the other garments.
Brooches are noticeably absent from male graves. There has been much speculation about this, since males are depicted wearing brooches on, for example, the Franks Casket (Northumbrian, probably 8th century in date). It seems likely that people were routinely buried in their indoor clothes, and that male indoor costume did not include a cloak while female indoor costume allowed the wearing of a shawl.
Because of the highly detailed nature of brooch ornamentation, a great deal of social information could be displayed through this medium – wealth, social status, ethnicity and rank. Most brooches were provided with a highly reflective and glittery surface either through polishing, tinning, gilding or the inclusion of glass and gemstone inserts. This would attract attention to the brooch, and thus to the information it was meant to convey. Due to the changing fashions in early Anglo-Saxon England, which could show political and religious affiliations, brooches have been intensively studied since the early 20th century and are well-documented. From the Middle Saxon period (circa 650 to 900 AD) there is less variety in form, with the large, silver disc brooch predominant.
Please choose from the links below to review our constantly changing selection of Anglo-Saxon Antiquities including weapons, jewelery and other personal artifacts.
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, all of 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.