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Button-on-bow brooch

Gilded button-on-bow brooch. Decorated in animal ornamentation related to the art of the Scandinavian Vendel Period style that would have been archaic in the Viking Age. The flat fields on the buttons and end parts were originally inlaid with cloisonnée using garnet and mother-of-pearl. Large, heavy-set oversized brooches of this type are thought to depict and symbolise the flaming piece of jewellery called Brísingamen belonging to the goddess Freya. They were never actually worn. Neither were they grave finds, rather only single or hoard finds which, judging from other objects, may have been deposited during the later part of the Viking Age. This suggests that the cult of Freya intensified and blossomed at that time. Stray find from Othemars, Othem Parish, Gotland.

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Object number: 453312_HST