Medieval Bronze Ring Brooch Clasped Hands
This is a nice medieval bronze ring-brooch, dating to the 13th - 14th century AD. It is formed with a pair of clasped hands in prayer, above a bezel (once containing a pearl or glass gemstone). Similar ring-brooches have been recorded WILT-9C15BE, WILT-1A290A and NMS-040028.
Ring-brooches are the most common type medieval brooch to survive and had a practical function: to fasten tunics, especially at the neck. Shaped as rings, with a long central pin, these brooches varied enormously in size and could be tiny, smaller than a fingernail. Ring-brooches were made of costly gold or silver, or of much cheaper copper or pewter. They were worn mostly until the late fourteenth century when changing fashions in dress included more closely tailored clothes and the growing use of button fastenings.
This example mostly intact and very delicate, the pin has sadly suffered some recent damage on the join (though is still intact but not connected). Such a brooch would have secured silks or light feminine fabrics (due to the delicate pin).
DATE: c. 1270 - 1350 AD
SIZE: 30mm x 20mm x 2mm
WEIGHT: 2.4 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Hertfordshire Private Collection