Oval Brooch

Date: 900–1000

Geography: Made in Scandinavia

Culture: Viking

Medium: Copper alloy, gilt

Dimensions: Overall: 4 1/2 x 2 15/16 x 1 11/16 x 4 1/2 in. (11.4 x 7.5 x 4.3 x 11.4 cm)

Classification: Metalwork-Copper

Credit Line: Purchase, Fletcher Fund, and Bequest of Gwynne M. Andrews, by exchange, 1982

Accession Number: 1982.323.1


This large, domed and intricately ornamented oval brooch was once one of a pair used to secure the shoulder straps of a Viking woman's tunic. Occasionally, the eye of an animal or the beak of a bird emerges from the design, but the piece displays an abstract pattern, rich in light-and-dark effects and enlivened by gilding.