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https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/templates/general_wide/img/logo.png UKDFD Recording Software https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/ Brooches https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/iron-age/brooches.html Knotenfibel or 'Boss-on-Bow' Brooch https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/iron-age/brooches/knotenfibel-or-boss-on-bow-brooch-54224.html Tue, 05 Feb 2019 20:27:13 GMT Brooches Knotenfibel or 'Boss-on-Bow' Brooch  
Description: A Knotenfibel or 'boss-on-bow' brooch of the Late Iron Age. The brooch is of one-piece construction with a right-angled bend in the bow close to the head. The characteristic moulded boss or 'button' is located on the curve of the bend, and consists of two half-spool mouldings flanked by two transverse ribs. The cross-section of the bow above the boss is oval, and that below sub-circular. The leg is virtually parallel along its full length, and terminates in a plain trapezoidal catch-plate. The integral coiled spring is completely missing, as the wire has broken at the point where it emerged from the head.

Knotenfibeln (the German name in its plural form) originated on the continent between about 50BC and 20BC, and possibly reached Britain a little later. They were predecessors of the native British Birdlip type.

The recorder notes that the brooch had no patination when found and has not subsequently been cleaned. This is of particular interest in view of the following observation by Richard Hattatt (see References below):
It is noteworthy that extremely few brooches from Pre-Roman Britain are of any metal other than bronze. Yet amongst the Knotenfibeln found here is a surprising number finely made of silver (748), and now we have one of gold (749), which altogether, including the two from the La Catillon (Jersey) hoard, total at least a dozen known of precious metal outside the continent.
In view of the foregoing, identification of the metal should be regarded as tentative, pending testing/confirmation.
Category: Iron Age, Brooches
Category: Brooches
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Birdlip Brooch https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/iron-age/brooches/birdlip-brooch-3610.html Sun, 04 Jun 2006 00:00:00 GMT Brooches Birdlip Brooch  
Description: An incomplete beaked-brooch or 'Birdlip' type brooch of late Iron Age date.

A magnificent brooch, displaying an abundance of illustrious Celtic art. Constructed from a copper-alloy, with high silver or tin content, it is incomplete; damaged at the foot and also missing the pin / spring mechanism. It is highly decorated, moulded with stylized faces which can be seen in various ways. The viewer can also see eyes and recurring crescents, gilded, with areas also coated in silver.

The Birdlip brooch is still one of the finest brooches indigenous to Britain. This impressive example was probably made around the time of the Roman conquest. A similar brooch was discovered in 1879, where workmen discovered three skeletons at a quarry near Birdlip, overlooking the Vale of Gloucester - hence the naming of the type. Some amazing Iron Age artefacts were found which included an extremely important mirror.
Category: Iron Age, Brooches
Category: Brooches
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La Tène I Brooch https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/iron-age/brooches/la-tene-i-brooch-29519.html Tue, 01 Feb 2011 00:00:00 GMT Brooches La Tène I Brooch  
Description: An Iron-Age La Tène I brooch, dating circa 4th to 3rd century BC. The brooch is of characteristic La Tène I form, with a highly arched bow of sub-rectangular cross-section, and a returned foot. Any decoration on the bow is unclear due to wear and corrosion. The terminal of the returned foot is expanded and has a rounded recess, which may originally have held an applied ornament. Two coils of the integral bilateral spring survive; the remainder of the spring and the pin are missing.
Category: Iron Age, Brooches
Category: Brooches
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Colchester Brooch https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/iron-age/brooches/colchester-brooch-31078.html Sat, 16 Apr 2011 00:00:00 GMT Brooches Colchester Brooch  
Description: An incomplete, plain one-piece ’Colchester’ type brooch of the 1st century AD. The forward-facing chord hook survives, along with half the length of the integral spring, but the pin is missing. The back of the bow has the fragmented remains of the catchplate.
Category: Iron Age, Brooches
Category: Brooches
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Colchester Brooch https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/iron-age/brooches/colchester-brooch-35072.html Mon, 28 Nov 2011 00:00:00 GMT Brooches Colchester Brooch  
Description: An incomplete, plain one-piece ’Colchester’ type brooch of the 1st century AD. The forward-facing chord hook survives, but the integral spring and pin are missing. It has short slightly curved wings and a tapering bow. The bow, originally curved, has sustained damage and is now flat. The back of the bow has the fragmented and twisted remains of the catchplate.
Category: Iron Age, Brooches
Category: Brooches
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Annular Brooch https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/iron-age/brooches/annular-brooch-4567.html Sun, 24 Sep 2006 00:00:00 GMT Brooches Annular Brooch  
Description: An annular brooch of the Iron Age.

The brooch consists of a ring with five plain hemispheres spaced equally around its circumference. Three of the hemispheres are hollow, and two are solid. One of the latter has on its reverse a pair of integrally cast hinge-lugs for the pin. The other has a single lug for the catchplate. The pin itself is missing. The remaining part of the ring is of solid semicircular cross-section, and much reduced in width. Between adjacent hemispheres, there is a single radial rib.

Early hinged-pin brooches are very rare finds, and it has not been possible to trace a closely similar example. The dating shown is therefore very tentative.
Category: Iron Age, Brooches
Category: Brooches
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'Glastonbury' Brooch https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/iron-age/brooches/glastonbury-brooch-10981.html Thu, 27 Dec 2007 00:00:00 GMT Brooches 'Glastonbury' Brooch  
Description: A late Iron-Age brooch of the 'Glastonbury' type, believed to be derived from the La Téne II brooch, but of two-piece construction.

The brooch dates circa late 1st century BC. Its head takes the form of a pierced lug, through which the axis bar for the spring was fitted. However, the axis bar, spring and integral pin, are now missing. Decoration is limited to three moulded transverse ribs at the junction of the bow and the leg. The returned foot is shaped to provide the catchplate, and extends backwards to the base of the ribs, where it joins the back of the leg.
Category: Iron Age, Brooches
Category: Brooches
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La Tène III Brooch https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/iron-age/brooches/la-tene-iii-brooch-17831.html Wed, 04 Mar 2009 00:00:00 GMT Brooches La Tène III Brooch  
Description: A late Iron-Age brooch of La Tène III type. The bow is plain and has a circular cross-section, it tapers to the foot and terminates with a centrally perforated catchplate. The catchplate is also decorated with a single line incised obliquely (approximately in-line with the underside of the bow). Only one coil of the integral spring and pin survives.

The La Tène III brooch is a derivative of the continental Nauheim type. It evolved on the continent around the beginning of the 1st century BC, and was brought to Britain by the Belgae.
Category: Iron Age, Brooches
Category: Brooches
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Rosette Brooch https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/iron-age/brooches/rosette-brooch-629.html Thu, 29 Sep 2005 00:00:00 GMT Brooches Rosette Brooch  
Description: A copper alloy bow brooch of rosette type. This brooch is a very well preserved and almost complete example of its type.

The wings of the brooch are formed from thin sheet metal rolled around the spring and with a central transverse slot for the protruding pin. A small disk of metal, an end cap, remains in situ in the right wing. The short high arched bow and the foot are decorated with moulded reeding. Two circular sheet metal disks are applied one on top of the other; they both locate in a notch around a circular ’step’ in the middle of the brooch body. The first disk is flat and is decorated with concentric incised rings around its outer edge. The second outer disk is shaped, perforated and embellished with incised ornament. This disk has suffered damage, possibly in antiquity, and approximately one third is missing. The catchplate is complete and decorated with two sub-square perforations. The pin has lost its tip and has been resharpened in antiquity, however it still reaches the catchplate and so the brooch was fully functional.

Rosette brooches are a form imported into Britain from occupied Gaul in the first half of the 1st Century AD. They are material evidence of the cultural upheaval already occuring prior to the Roman conquest of 43 AD. Worn by those able to afford to acquire luxury Gallo-Roman imports, these highly decorated and distinctive brooches certainly offered a fashionable alternative to the rather plain native La Tene III and early Colchester brooch forms current in Britain at that time.

The brooch is almost identical in every respect to a brooch found in a wealthy cremation grave excavated at the King Harry Lane cemetery, outside Verulamium (St Albans) illustrated on page 82 ’Britain and the Celtic Iron Age’, James & Rigby, British Museum Press, 1997.

The pre-conquest period sees bow brooch design and manufacture reach a zenith of sophistication with these elaborate brooches manufactured in many parts. This example is assembled from no less than 7 individual parts - the bow, the axial bar, the sprung pin, two small end caps to plug the open ends of the spring housing, a circular disk and on top of that another circular formed, pieced and decorated disk to finish the whole job off. Every making job, plus piercing, engraving, pin sharpening, assembly, polishing and despatch could have been performed by a team of relatively lowly skilled individuals - a brooch factory production line. How many people could feasibly have been involved in total is anyones guess, but the whole process could have employed a large staff. Such a division of labour and consequent efficiency makes much sense in the profitable manufacture of highly designed and complex objects destined for a demanding market ready to pay good prices for high fashion items.
Category: Iron Age, Brooches
Category: Brooches
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Rosette Brooch https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/v46/artefact/iron-age/brooches/rosette-brooch-925.html Fri, 21 Oct 2005 00:00:00 GMT Brooches Rosette Brooch  
Description: An incomplete copper-alloy brooch of ’keyhole’ rosette type (Hattatt 284/285) The cylindrical spring case, 20mm wide, is formed from two pieces of metal rolled together and perforated with a central transverse slot. The spring cover is broken and a portion missing. The spring & pin are also missing. A central disk, 22mm in diameter, projects slightly forward from the spring casing. This is decorated with a pair of concentric ribs around the edge of the disk. The centre of the disk is perforated with a 2mm hole that would have served as an attachment point for an applied central decoration. This decorative element is missing but comparison with other known examples shows that it could take various forms. Below the disk is a flared foot, 14m in length, 8 - 11mm wide, decorated with two parallel bands of dots that begin at the edge of the disk and continue to the bottom edge of the foot. The reverse of the foot has a simple integral catchplate projecting 5mm. The whole of the brooch is formed from very thin metal, at no point thicker than 0.5mm.

The brooch is 42mm in length, 20mm wide. Preservation is very good indeed considering the very thin metal that the brooch is made of (0.5mm) There is some nibbling to the extreme edge of the disk and the foot but the original surface is well preserved in a fine, very dark grey/green patina.

Rosette brooches are a form imported into Britain from occupied Gaul in the first half of the 1st Century AD. They are material evidence of the cultural upheaval already occurring prior to the Roman conquest of 43 AD. Worn by those able to afford to acquire luxury Gallo-Roman imports, these highly decorated and distinctive brooches certainly offered a fashionable alternative to the rather plain native La Tene III and early Colchester brooch forms current in Britain at that time.
Category: Iron Age, Brooches
Category: Brooches
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