Brooch fittings?

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Wayland
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Brooch fittings?

Postby Wayland » Mon May 04, 2015 8:02 am

I'm working on a personal project to make a new brooch based upon Ædwyn's brooch in the BM.

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe_mla/s/silver_disc_brooch_of_%c3%a6dwen.aspx

The problem is that the original fitting was lost in antiquity and it is very difficult to find images of the back of any disk brooches, let alone something of a similar nature.

It would appear that the fitting was part of, or attached to the silver strip which was then riveted to the brooch with the boss pins. This may possibly explain why it has broken in the way it has, if the brooch was forcibly removed. Interestingly the brooch was inscribed with a curse against thieves and I doubt that it's original owner would have treated it so roughly.
It was found in a hoard and I've often wondered if it's new owner came to a sticky end...Image

The original brooch has always struck me as having been made by someone slightly out of his depth. The concept is good but the execution is slightly crude.

I actually prefer to make derivative items, in the style of originals but not exact copies. This avoids the common problem that we see in re-enactment of ten people all wearing the same originally unique object.

My intention in this case is to refine the design a little and improve on the craftsmanship as best I can, while still using the same techniques. As if this were a practice piece and the jeweller went on to produce a better result on his next try.

From one point of view this gives me some latitude in how I make the fitting, on the other hand I want the result to have some provenance and credibility at least.

My GoogleFoo is letting me down a bit here. Does anyone know where I might find some more information on such fittings?


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Neil of Ormsheim
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Re: Brooch fittings?

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Mon May 04, 2015 8:36 am

Don't know how much help it might be but - if you have it (and I assume you probably do) - The Archaeology of York The Small Finds 17/14 Craft, Industry and Everyday Life: Finds from Anglo-Scandinavian York by A.J. Mainman and N.S.H. Rogers (ISBN 1 902771 11 7) may be of use. It has a whole section on broaches and pins.


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Wayland
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Re: Brooch fittings?

Postby Wayland » Mon May 04, 2015 6:12 pm

I had a look at that but all the brooches had cast in lugs for fittings. The pins were all gone of course so I'm guessing they were ferrous.

What I could really do with is a reverse image of a plate made brooch but that is not the side most people normally want to see.


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Medicus Matt
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Re: Brooch fittings?

Postby Medicus Matt » Mon May 04, 2015 8:24 pm

A little earlier, but the Petney brooch gives one possibility.
http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/c ... more-views


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Wayland
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Re: Brooch fittings?

Postby Wayland » Mon May 04, 2015 10:55 pm

That's an interesting variation Matt, I haven't seen pins fitted directly to the brooch plate before. I've only seen that technique used on fibulae.

Unfortunately I don't think it would work for this project. I may just have to go with soldered on lugs in the style of the cast lugs that seem so common.

I'm currently prepping it up for working on at the Whitby LHE. It's an ostentatious peice, almost 6" across and weighing in at nearly 11 oz. I'm hoping it will generate some interest.

I'm quite pleased with the adapted design, maintaining the theme of mythological creatures, I have chosen to replace one of the snakes with an eagle and to interpret the unknown quadruped as a goat ( Heidrun ) thus suggesting the stylised foliage is Lærad.

This leaves the snake/dragon ( possibly Jormandgand/Nidhogg ) and the wolf ( Fenrir? ) in more refined and defined forms but essentially similar to the original design.

The cleverly inscribed Boars I have left pretty much as they were in tribute to the original craftsman but I have used the spaces beneath them to incorporate stylised Ravens in keeping with the Anglo-Norse mythological theme but also because of personal associations.

I'll post up some pictures when it's all done.


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