Large Silver Ballyspellan Brooch


Replica of the 9th century Ballyspellan Silver Bossed Penannular Brooch, found in Co. Kilkenny.

Decorated in a mixture of Irish and Viking Age art styles, the original Ballyspellan brooch is one of the finest examples of a late penannular style. The type, characterised by the bosses, was current in various versions in Ireland in the late 9th century A.D. In Ireland they seem to represent the final stage of the manufacture of elaborately decorated penannular brooches. The lavish use of silver in their production is due to the relative abundance of that metal as a result of Viking commerce and fragments of these brooches have been found in early 10th century silver hoards. The Ballyspellan is on display in the Treasury room of the National Museum of Archaeology in Dublin. Its panels contain a tight composition of animal motifs which flourished in the Viking Age. On the back of the brooch appears four Irish names written in Ogham writing. It has been suggested that they were the names of former owners of the brooch.

Diameter: 80mm x 85mm
Pin length: 176mm