This is a medieval bronze ring-brooch, dating to the 13th 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.
This example is decorated with seven collets evenly spaced around the upper side of the frame. Each collet is sub-rectangular in plan with a low triangular profile, the tops of the collets are dished where a stone would have been mounted the insides still retains some of the white paste. There is a constriction in the frame for the pin, The pin is original, although appears to be a contemporary replacement made before the brooch was originally lost. A nice historic piece with a patchy green patina.
DATE: c. 1200 - 1300 AD
SIZE: 18mm x 3mm
WEIGHT: 2.5 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Hertfordshire Private Collection