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 700-year-old silver brooch found in Tredegar
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 20/07/2018 :  11:48:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
700-year-old silver brooch is "exquisitely beautiful" treasure for Tredegar
Source: SouthWalesArgus

Tredegar Museum website:

FOUND by a metal detectorist in a field outside Tredegar, a tiny silver brooch has provided a tantalising glimpse of medieval life in south Wales.

And with its acquisition by the town's museum, it will be displayed for visitors to marvel at and ponder over.

Just two-and-a-half centimetres in diameter, the Tredegar Brooch is believed to be from the late 13th/early 14th Century, making it at least 700 years old.

It was found two years ago by Michael Evans, from Pontlottyn, but how it came to be where it was, is a mystery.

Dr Rhiannon Biebrach, project officer with Saving Treasures, Telling Stories - a Heritage Lottery Fund-backed partnership between Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales, and the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales - believes it was most likely a simple loss.

"As a single object, it is far more likely this was an accidental loss," she told a meeting at Tredegar Library, where the brooch was formally handed over to the museum.

"There were very few settlements in the Middle Ages. It was probably lost by someone travelling through, rather than living in, the area."

Its location was, she added, on medieval routes between Cardiff and Brecon, and Abergavenny and Neath.

Dr Biebrach described the brooch as "exquisitely beautiful". Known as an annular stirrup brooch, she said it may have been used as an attachment on a cloak or purely as a decorative item.

Several examples of such brooches have been found in Wales, but Dr Biebrach said: "I think it is the best example. It has kept its shape, and has really good lustre.

"It is precious metal, beyond the pockets of most of the general population at the time, in a relatively poor part of the country.

"It could have belonged to a man or a woman. Men in those times were just as likely to wear flashy things.

"It was once someone's personal, treasured possession."

She added that the grooves on the surface of the brooch would have been filled in with niello, a black substance usually composed of sulphur, copper, silver, and lead.

This would be put onto items in paste form and fired to ensure the inlaid areas were filled, before being polished down to create a black and silver contrast on the surface.

The brooch has been legally declared as treasure by Gwent's Coroner under the Treasure Act 1996.

Metallic objects - coins are subject to other rules - deemed to be more than 300 years old and comprising more than 10 per cent gold/silver, are classed as treasure.

"The brooch technically became the property of the Crown, and became eligible to be acquired by a museum," said Dr Biebrach.

Only accredited museums get the opportunity to acquire such finds, and the brooch is the first treasure acquired for Tredegar Museum.

Saving Treasures, Telling Stories plays a key role in enabling museums to acquire treasures for the nation.

Phil Prosser, chairman of Tredegar History and Archive Society, which runs the museum, described the brooch as "the jewel in the crown of our collection".

"It is a great honour for us, and for Tredegar, to have this," he said.

He thanked heritage staff at Blaenau Gwent council for supporting the museum's staff, who are all volunteers, and thanked Mr Evans for reporting his find.

Tredegar Museum, at Tredegar Library, in The Circle, is open on: Monday, Tuesday and Friday, 10am-1pm and 2pm-4pm; Wednesday 10am-1pm; and Saturday 10am-noon.

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Super Member

United Kingdom
1277 Posts

Posted - 20/07/2018 :  14:51:18 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I hate being a spoil-sport but it appears to be 1" in diameter.
After all th decimal system came in with Napoleon which was a somewhat later date
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Super Member

United Kingdom
1717 Posts

Posted - 20/07/2018 :  16:17:37 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I do not think you are a spoil sport, I still talk in 'old money'.
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