Anglo Saxon Brooch

Anglo Saxon Brooch
Anglo Saxon Brooch

Courage and selflessness; truth; honor; fidelity; discipline and duty; hospitality; industriousness; self-reliance; perseverance. What do such qualities in this particular order hold in common? They are known as the 9 Anglo Saxon values.
The Anglo-Saxon period lasted from 450 AD to 1066 AD. When it comes to all things jewellery, which of course the Historic Jewellery Reproduction Company takes a keen interest in, archeological discoveries dating back to this era provide us with some wonderful insights.
For example, based on archeological findings including drawings and images found on objects we get an idea of what an Anglo Saxon woman would have worn. Most Anglo-Saxon women would have worn jewellery, including perhaps an Anglo Saxon brooch. Particularly if a woman was wealthy she would surely be found decked in one of these metal marvels, for attractive and expensive jewellery was worn as a status symbol at this time. An Anglo Saxon brooch may have been cast from bronze or iron and perhaps decorated with gold or silver, often coming as part of a pair, one worn on each shoulder, in order to secure clothing. Women and sometimes girls wore these brooches to fix in place their dress likely made from linen.
Huge influence was taken from what we now know as Germany and therefore much art and jewellery, including Anglo Saxon brooches, received their inspiration from this part of Europe. In fact goldsmiths were so well respected by the law of the land that they were permitted to move freely around the Anglo Saxon territories.
So for all Anglo Saxon brooch lovers out there, a few interesting facts about the range of styles that Archeologists have since categorised. Brooches have been divided into two main styles according to their basic shape – long and circular. Long brooches, for example, have been split into 4 categories. ‘Square headed’ brooches, ‘cruciform’ brooches, ‘small long’ brooches and ‘radiate head’ brooches. The brooch itself has been divided into 4 different parts. The head, the bow, the foot and the pin. The head and the foot of the brooch would likely have been decorated while the pin was attached at the back to hold the brooch in place.
Another style of brooch was the circular type and these brooches have also been given different names by archeologists. ‘Disc brooch’, ‘saucer brooch’, ‘button brooch’, ‘applied brooch’, ‘annular brooch’ and ‘penannular brooch’ are six different styles of circular brooches from Anglo Saxon times. Other styles of brooch, such as ‘equal-armed’ brooches, ‘S brooches’ and ‘bird brooches’ have also been identified by archeologists from this period in history. For sure, the Anglo Saxons knew just a thing or two about brooches!
The rich history of the Anglo Saxon peoples and all that was connected to their culture, lifestyle, beliefs and traditions forms an integral part of the history of this small island nation. It brings us great pleasure, to recreate beautiful replicas of Anglo Saxon jewellery, including Anglo Saxon brooches, here at the Historic Jewellery Reproduction Company in England.