An incomplete Anglo-Saxon bronze cruciform brooch, c. 6th Century A.D.

An incomplete Anglo-Saxon bronze cruciform brooch, c. 6th Century A.D.

Code: 2420

Description: An incomplete bronze cruciform brooch, broken in the mid body with the lower part missing. The headplate consists of a square central panel with trapezoidal wings flaring outwards to either side, from which integrally cast flattened narrower ridged panels extend. A similar panel extends from the top of the headplate. Below the headplate is a curved bow below which the mid-body above the break extends into a subrectangular panel with incised curvilinear decoration. On the reverse face of the headplate, only the integral attachment loops for the pin and spring mechanism (now lost) remain. The catchplate below the bow preserved with incised cross-hatching on one side. The brooch has an uneven green-brown patina.

Size: 77 mm/3 ins. in length

Culture: Anglo-Saxon

Date: c. 6th Century A.D.

Provenance: Ex Seward Kennedy Collection, Norland Place, London.

Background: Seward Kennedy (1925-2015) was a successful lawyer and passionate collector who over six decades, assembled a veritable cabinet of curiosities which filled his homes in London and New York City. This diverse collection included tribal, Indian, tantric, Chinese and Japanese items as well as contemporary art. In the 1950s-1960s he worked as a lawyer for the Mobil Corporation and travelled extensively in Egypt, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus. His strong interest in antiquities led him to assemble a fine collection of artefacts from a number of civilisations. Few items in the Seward Kennedy Collection are provenanced, as most were bought at a time when provenance was not regarded as particularly important. Also Kennedy was more concerned with their aesthetics, to him a fine modern knapped arrowhead was just as worthy of collection as a prehistoric piece.