Round Box Brooch

Date: 700–900

Geography: Made in Gotland, Sweden

Culture: Viking

Medium: Copper alloy, cast, traces of an iron pin

Dimensions: Overall: 2 1/16 x 7/8 x 1/16 in. (5.2 x 2.3 x 0.2 cm)

Classification: Metalwork-Copper

Credit Line: Pfeiffer Fund, 1992

Accession Number: 1992.59.1


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.