Brooches, Open ring, brass

Iron Age Celts of Britain were the first to develop the open ring brooch, a type that would remain widespread in Great Britain and Ireland through the early Middle Ages. These are also known as 'penannular' brooches.

Most of the world's museums count open ring brooches in their collections. These range from very fine examples exquisitely wrought in precious metals and decorated with stones and enamelwork to much humbler versions.

Castlefarm 1 excavation, Dunboyne, Ireland, early medieval (top)

British Museum, acc. number 1856,3-20,1 Irish, late 6th - early 7th century AD. County Cavan, Ireland (middle)

Kettering Museum- acc. number KETTKM- 1951.257. Weekley Hall Woods, Kettering. Iron age 50 BC-75 AD (bottom)

Shaped like a 'C' the terminal ends are most often flattened and decorated, have a terminal like a torc, or in the simplest form, flattened as in our version.

In use, the pin is rotated until it lays between the open arms of the ring. It is then stabbed through the folds of fabric; one end of the ring is then pushed under the pin where it exits the cloth. The ring is then turned until the pin lies securely locked in place on the arm of the ring.

Available in 3 sizes:

2" - $8.95
1 1/4" - $5.95
3/4" - $2.95

The small size is perfect for fastening winingas and headgear, the larger size is good for closing the necks of tunics and kyrtles, the largest size for cloaks and brats.

Handmade in the US by reenactors (who, to their credit, have managed to put their daughter thru college on the proceeds of years of pinmaking!). Please note that due to the handcrafted nature of this item, dimension are approximate and may vary slightly from piece to piece.

Historical Accuracy Rating




Starting at: $2.95

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  • Model: SL-RB001
  • Shipping Weight: 0.5lbs




This product was added to our catalog on Monday 19 January, 2009.