Interesting Research on a Friend’s Brooch

Interesting to me, at the very least.

My baby boy turned 8 this weekend, and his choice of celebration was to have his friends over for a pool party. Despite the cold weather of the last few weeks, about 15 kids braved the cold water and swam the afternoon away. All of this meant that I got to visit with my friends.

One had recently bought a brooch set at Gulf Wars from Raymond’s Quiet Press the previous week.

It’s a beautiful brooch set, but I didn’t recognize the style. The thought of it stayed at the back of my mind irritating me that I could not say where it was found. I figured it would be an easy look-up in one of my books on Birka, Hedeby or Osberg. It makes sense that much of the recreated jewelry would be from the big finds.

It wasn’t in any of them.

By chance, I happened across a catalog from an archaeology convention that took place in Riga, Latvia in 1896. Of course the catalog is in German! Perusing through the pages, I found it! There were not together in the catalog, but it was undeniable that these were the same.

You could download the catalog if you want. It has the nice pictures at the back. Link to the google book.

The brooch, item #491.5 in the catalog. It’s from what is modern day Salaspil, Latvia, and in 1896 they thought it was from 1200. The attachment, which is item #407, is from Kremon, Latvia, and they do not give a date. I’m sure if they dated it now, the original estimation could have been off by a couple of 100 years.

Looking through Raymond’s shop, (here’s where you can find the brooch) he has information on so many of his items. I wondered if he thought that if it was labeled at a Latvian piece, if less people would buy it. Just my curiosity.


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