Penannular Brooch
Silver, gold, glass
Loughan, County Derry
Ninth Century, CE
Early Medieval, Celtic
10 cm.
National Museum of Ireland, Dublin

Compared with similar type objects, such as the penannular brooch found at Kilmainham, County Dublin, this penannular brooch is less elaborate and less intricately patterned.  It is categorized as penannular, yet there are no visible terminals.  The brooch appears annular at first glance, for it looks as though it completes a full circle. With careful discernment, one can see a slight opening in the circular head, thus making this a penannular brooch.  A smooth surface of gold, devoid of interlace or patterning, constitutes the head and the pin.  No raised knobs for stone ornamentation are present.  The fastener pin is particularly thick and tapers to a hook-like point.  The pin runs vertically which also complements the visual image of this brooch being annular.  Solid gold fills the lower semi-circular portion of the head, which is slightly decorated in miniaturist detail.  A successive lobed decorative motif runs along the bottom of the head.


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