Anglo-Saxon Disc & Saucer Brooches for sale
Disc brooches are a common 5th to 6th century fastener, found in southern and eastern England and concentrated in the Upper Thames Valley, where it is presumed that they were developed and manufactured. There are no known Continental prototypes for this form of brooch, so it may have been an Anglo-Saxon innovation. They are predominantly of copper-alloy, but often tinned or gilded; decoration is confined to punched and incised detailing on the early examples, but later zoomorphic motifs are found. Some examples have notched or serrated rims. Another later variant is the ‘nummular’ brooch, which bears decoration drawn from coin forms.
Saucer brooches are normally single castings in copper-alloy, worn by adult females at the shoulders to secure a peplos dress. The plain rim is usually flared or angled away from the flat central surface – whence the ‘saucer’ designation. They are found with a concentration in the Thames Valley but occur sporadically across East Anglia, the south-east, the south and west Midlands. There are regional preferences in decoration, with running spirals the commonest form.
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.