decorative plaque from an object such as a hanging bowl, crozier or drinking horn (plaque; escutcheon)


Circular copper-alloy disc inlaid with opaque champlevé enamel holding panels of fine millefiori glass, a component of a larger item; it dates somewhere in the period from 670 to 900 AD.
Cells to take enamel have been cast into the copper alloy (the champlevé technique), with raised walls between in the shape of a central cross with hollow T-shaped or stepped ends to the arms. Each T-shaped arm terminal originally had a square piece of millefiori glass set centrally; two of these remain, with square scars where the others are missing. In each of the spaces between the arms was another identical millefiori square, set at an angle; three of these survive.

The best parallel to this little disc are decorative plates fitted into elaborate pieces of 8th-10th century Irish metalwork.

This piece may therefore be Viking-period loot from Ireland, the scatter of such traded items explaining its presence in Devon.

This object is not on display.

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