A menagerie of tiny animals inhabits the interlace patterns on this round brooch. The four oval compartments on the top show beasts with round eyes, open jaws, claw feet, and intricately entwined bodies. Known as a box brooch because it was used as a container for small objects, it would have been worn by a Viking woman on the island of Gotland to secure her shawl at the collar.
Private Collection, Germany; Robert Haber and Associates Inc., Ancient Art, New York (sold 1992)
Thunmark-Nylén, Lena. "Viking Age Box Brooches: Technical Stratigraphy and Workshop Grouping." PhD diss., Institutionen for Arkeologi Distribution, 1983.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1991-1992." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 50, no. 2 (Fall 1992). p. 18.
Brown, Katharine R. Migration Art, A.D. 300-800. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995. no. 67, p. 47.
Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 65, pp. 49–50.
Brown, Katharine R., Dafydd Kidd, and Charles T. Little, ed. From Attila to Charlemagne: Arts of the Early Medieval Period in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. p. 318, 330, 359, fig. 25.12, 26.11.