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a, The top; b, the bottom; c inter

nal view,

The large elaborately decorated circular brooches found in such numbers in the districts occupied by the Jutes, i.e., Kent and the Isle of Wight, are seldom seen in other localities ; but circular brooches of smaller size and less ornate fabric occur far and wide, and we have now before us examples discovered respectively in the kingdoms of the South and East Saxons. The first (fig. 6) was exhumed at Woking, in Surrey, and is of bronze originally plated with

gold, some of which is still adherent in the hollows of its sculptured field. The device on its verge resembles that on the saucer-shaped brooch of the same size found in Gloucestershire engraved in our Journal (ii

, 54), and which for the sake of comparison is here again introduced, and its central embellishment may be likened to that of another Gloucestershire specimen also given in our Journal (iv, 53). The second brooch (fig. 7), which has a somewhat Roman aspect, was found at Colchester in 1852, and has for device a cross within a verge, both having punctured decorations.

Long, fierce, and bloody, as was the contest between the Saxon and Danish hosts, the latter seem to have left little to mark their presence in England save the rude money of their princes. We have, however, had the good fortune to engrave a Danish brooch of the eleventh century, found at Oxford (xvi, 274, fig. 2); and have now the satisfaction of adding another referrible to the same people, and dating a century earlier (fig. 8). It is a disc of silver, or the white metal called findruine in Ireland, and is incised with a stella-shaped cross; the long, attenuated terminations of its branches wrought into “ Runic knots,” producing a device at once bold and elegant, familiar to us on Scoto-Scandinavian relics, and one long retained as a decoration on the hilt of the Highland bidag.

It is only necessary to add that the fibulæ in the accompanying plate are represented of their full size; that the specimens are all in the possession of our associate, Mr. W. H. Forman; and, with exception of fig. 1, were formerly the property of Mr. Whincopp of Woodbridge, Suffolk.

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10.

227

ON THE NORMAN FERMAIL.

BY H. SYER COMING, ESQ., HON. SEC.

ON former occasions our attention has been directed to the Roman fibula and Teutonic Brooch, and it is now proposed to offer a few remarks upon the Norman Fermail. The archetype of this simple fastening seems to exist in the ring and pin brooches of a previous age, but the transition from the round wire hoop to the flat circlet, and long acus to the short tongue, must have been sudden and abrupt, as no medial link has hitherto been met with to connect these widely separated types together. In 1852, there was found at Maidstone, a curious brooch of bronze, the ring of which has six conic collets rising from its front, once set but now sine gemmis; and in 1854, another of bronze was exhumed in Ratcliff Highway, which has ten projecting collets, the settings of which are also lost. Both these trinkets have been pronounced Roman by some, and Saxon by others, but they may truly be regarded as belonging to the Norman era, and I have therefore selected them as early examples of the jeweled fermail (see Pl. 12, figs. 1 and 2). A fermail decked with gems, closes the bosom of the tunic of the king's statue on the front of Wells cathedral,and a still richer one is shewn on the monumental effigy of Berengaria, queen of Richard I. in the abbey of L'Espan, the metal circle seemingly wrought with leaflets, and set with ten round jewels. A gold ring-buckle in the British Museum, found in London, adorned with garnets and knobs alternating with quatrefoils ; and the famous Glenlyon brooch of silver, with its groups of high conic collets, may be cited as further and later examples of jeweled fermails.

The above costly trinkets appertained to the prince and the patrician, the humbler ranks were necessarily content with metal fermails, either plain or engraved with a slight design, or with mystic words, which served at once for ornament and talisman. I exhibit a very early example of

Examples of ring and pin brooches are given in this Journal, ii,333; v, 118. ? See Journal, xiii, 17.

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1862

30

bronze, one inch and one-sixteenth in diameter, the frame, three-sixteenths of an inch wide, being stamped with twentyfive circlets, in imitation probably of the round collets of the jeweled fermails. A portion of the frame is cut away to form a pivot for the mourdant or tongue, in a similar way to the Maidstone specimen (see fig. 3.)

À charact fermail of brass, exhumed in Fenchurch Street in 1833, apparently reading NOMA MINAMI INACIN, has been described, and Mr. C. Ainslie produces another of brass, recovered from the Thames, which bears an equally obscure legend—IIECEI. EODEI. EOD, the words being divided by a sort of arrow-head. A third example of these talismanic buckles is now delineated in fig. 4. It is of silver, weighing two pennyweights, and was discovered at Lewisham.

The fermail makers of the fourteenth century did not confine themselves to unintelligible words, but adopted mottos and legends of an amatory and religious turn, of the first of which the following may serve as examples. In the British Museum are two charact fermails, one of brass inscribed-VT. ODIT . ME , AMICA ; the other of lead withAMOR. VINCIT. OMNIA--a formula rendered familiar to us by Chaucer's account of the prioress, who wears

a broche of gold ful shene,
On whiche was first y-written a crouned A,

And after-Amor Vincet Omnia. The crowned a brings to mind a silver-gilt buckle found in Dorsetshire, representing the first letter of the alphabet, and engraved on its front with the words—10 FAS AMER E DOZ DE AMER, and on the back with—A. G. L. A. (see fig. 5). But to return to the ring-formed fermail

. One of gold found at Writtle, Essex, gives us this rhyming motto, one line being on either side

IEO. SVI , FERMAIL. PVR, GARDER SEIN.

KE NVS VILEIN NI METTE MEIN. A little gold fermail found at Brandish, Suffolk, is inscribed

QVI. CA. MENVEIA , IA.

DAMOR NETRICERA. And one of the same precious material, weighing twenty

| Journal, iii, 54, 2 Canterbury Tales, i, 160. * Journal, iii, 125.

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