This is a nice medieval bronze ring-brooch, dating to the 13th - 14th century AD. 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.
The brooch consists of an octagonal frame formed of four crescents joined by four rectangular bars, one of which is recessed to take a now missing pin. Each crescent is beveled, creating a shallow triangular cross-section and the rectangular bars are D-shaped in cross-section. The brooch is flat on the reverse. The brooch is undecorated but has a dark green patina on both faces. A similar but incomplete example has been recorded from Buckinghamshire BUC-18C3B4.
DATE: c. 13th - 14th century AD
SIZE: 24mm x 23mm (open 40mm)
WEIGHT: 3.68 grams
PROVENANCE: Originally found in Essex.
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