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Brooch, Borre knot style

John Lashmar sent in the images of this find and asked if it would be of any value. I initially received only a single image of the decorated side, so I asked what was on the other side. It turned out to have the stubs of a catchplate and mounts for a fastening pin so this find was obviously a copper-alloy disc brooch.

It measures about 30mm in diameter and in the middle of the face is a circular depression, which is in the centre of a lozenge with incurved sides. The ends of the lozenge curl around in what is known as a Borre knot motif. The Borre style has Viking origins and first appeared in England shortly after the middle of the 9th century; it continued to be used on Anglo-Scandinavian products into the 10th century.


Brooches of this particular type are said to have been mass produced but this is the first example I have seen. Sadly, the state of preservation isn’t good. The surface looks to be a bit rough and, worse still, there are pieces missing from the edge. On the plus side the Borre style design is attractive, so to a keen collector this brooch could still be worth £25 – £35.

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