Saxon / Ostrogothic Bow Brooch 016808

Saxon / Ostrogothic Bow Brooch 016808
Extremely Rare Saxon / Ostrogothic 'Triangular-Headed' Bow Brooch
Silver-gilt, 39.36 grams, 66.65 mm. 5th century AD. A finely made example of an Ostrogothic style bow brooch. The sub-triangular headplate is constructed as a semicircular panel adjacent to the top of the bow, decorated with chip-carved running spirals. Three smaller semicircular panels radiate from this, each decorated with three roundels within collars. A surrounding strip bears chip-carved key-step decoration, extending to above the upper panel where a discoid lobe bears spiral joining the border. There are symmetrically placed quadrangular slots parallel to the outer edges. The bow features three heavy moulded ribs with longitudinal detailing, between which are panels of key-step decoration. The footplate shows designs mirroring those on the headplate, but lacking the lobed features; the remains of two circular piercings are evident on the lower edge which was broken in antiquity. A brooch (accession number 1905,0520.193) of the same overall form but lacking the extravagant chip-carving and gilding of the present piece is in the British Museum, acquired at from the Delamain Collection Herpes (Charente, France) but of Ostrogothic origin. Reference: The Herpes cemetery was poorly documented at the time of excavation, but is discussed in Effros, B. Merovingian Mortuary Archaeology and the Making of the Early Middle Ages, Berkeley, 2003. Part lost in antiquity, otherwise extremely fine condition. Provenance: from an old English collection, found continental Europe. This antiquity is accompanied by an XRF metal test certificate from Oxford X-ray Fluorescence Ltd.
 
This item was accompanied by an illustrated Certificate of Authenticity.

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