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Fuller brooch

From Academic Kids

The Fuller brooch is a piece of 9th-century Anglo-Saxon jewelry. It is a large disc made of hammered sheet silver inlaid with black niello and with a diameter of 11.4 cm. Its center roundel is decorated with personifications of the five senses. In the center is Sight with large staring oval eyes, surrounded by the other four senses, each in his own compartment. Taste has a hand in his mouth. Smell's hands are behind his back, and he stands between two tall plants. Touch rubs his hands together. Hearing holds his hand to his ear. This is the earliest known representation of the five senses. The outer border consists of 16 small medallions decorated with human, bird, animal and plant motifs.

The brooch has survived in almost perfect condition and may be the only surviving piece of secular Anglo-Saxon metalwork to remain unburied since its creation. It was thought to be a fake by Sir Hercules Read, a curator of the British Museum, because of its excellent condition. He advised the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford which had been lent the brooch, to take it off display. It was then bought by Captain A. W. F. Fuller for the price of the silver. After the discovery of the Strickland Brooch, additional research determined that the type of niello used in the Fuller Brooch was used only in the medieval period. In 1952 Capt. Fuller donated the brooch to the British Museum on the condition that it henceforth be called the Fuller Brooch.

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