The Gaulcross hoard of Pictish silver
Silver Objects, Cairn, Pictish Silver, Silver Ribbon, Bracelet
This hoard of three silver objects found in the cairn of a stone circle at Ley, Fordyce, Banffs, c 1840 and only previously known from drawings and notes made by J Stuart in 1867, is published for the first time. The objects in the hoard, conventionally termed 'Pictish', consist of a hand-pin with hair-spring spirals terminating in animal heads and (on the reverse) punched circles; a spiral bracelet of convex-section broad silver ribbon; and a complex chain. The first two are paralleled in the Norrie's Law hoard. An attempt to reproduce the chain in a modern workshop showed that even with a specially made die and punch no exact replica of the fine linking could be made. It is unique in Pictish contexts in Britain, but parallels are known in the late Viking age in Scandinavia.