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A Survey of the Anglo-Saxon Cruciform Brooches of Florid Type

Leeds, E. T.

Pocock, Michael

Medieval Archaeology, Vol.15 (1971)


This short study o f the English cruciform brooches in the latest and most elaborate phase o f their development was lift practically completed by E. T . Leeds before his death in 1955. My best thanks are due to Mr. P. D. C. Brown of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, who told me of the existence of the manuscript (now in the Ashmolean Museum) and who suggested that I edit it for publication. Leeds’s text is printed substantially as he lift it apart from several minor alterations and corrections. I have provided the introduction, postscript, and footnotes.

The fairly numerous examples of cruciform brooches discovered in Anglo-Saxon graves of the 5th to the 7th century display a rich morphological development which is particularly receptive to typological analysis. The only detailed classification available is that provided by Nils Aberg,’ in which the English cruciforms are distributed into five groups, ranging from the simple forms of groups I and II (5th and earlier 6th century), through the 6th-century forms of groups III (distinguished from the preceding groups by the appearance of scroll-shaped nostrils on the animal-head foot) and IV (with lappets flanking the upper part of the foot-plate), and ending with the elaborate forms of group V (later 6th and into the 7th century).

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