Brooch card

Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool, World Museum

Brooch

M7372

Currently not on display

Information

Bronze gilt square-headed brooch. It has a broad headplate with a small central panel above the bow, bisected by upside-down full face mask with prominent eyes and brow ridges, cheek blobs, nose and beard, and flanking spiral swastika motifs inside the raised rectangular frame and enclosed by another frame in lower plane with decoration of punched circlets. The frame is enclosed by a relief band which takes in part of the lower edge of the plate but is interrupted by the top of the bow. Around this area is a zone of ornament with billeting at sides and at top a pair of Style I type animals facing away from each other: they have upcurled tails, single clawed foot, 'helmeted' heads with eye underlined and down-curving 'beaks' or tongues. Another relief band clings to the upper corners of that area and continues along the top and down sides with a much obscured outer frame of zoomorphic decoration. The bow is short with a raised median ridge and a central button and lowered panels. The upper corners of the footplate have rampant creatures with large helmeted heads, necks, upraised forefeet with arched hip-joint, looped body, then diminutive hind-leg stretched out at right angles to body behind; curled excrescences at back of neck and head. Below the bow is a frontal mask enclosed between the forefeet of rampant animals, with prominent eyes and nose, cheeks merging into the relief frame of undivided lozenge-shaped central panel of the foot. This panel merges at sides into profile helmeted heads facing outwards, with rudimentary body and foot below eye, and rectangular panel with punched ringlets at outer angles; at the foot there is another complex full-face human mask - has well defined hair with curled bob at level of ears; eyebrows, prominent eyes and nose, mouth with upcurled moustache, and below rectangular panel with punched ringlets. At the centre of the lozenge panel there is a curly swastika as on the headplate, surrounded by a flat border and punched with ringlets. Sonia Chadwick Hawkes observed that this brooch probably the earliest and best of the group of square-headed brooches. She also thought that is probably derived from one of the cemeteries in Cambridgeshire. Either Faussett or Rolfe collection.