Scotlands History

Pictish silver

Pictish silversmiths made spectacular jewellery, decorated with the same symbols found on their carved symbol stones.

Massive Pictish silver chains, weighing over 1.5 kg and fastened with decorated silver rings, may have been made for nobles or warriors to wear on special occasions.

A silverwork hoard discovered at Norrie’s Law, near Largo in Fife, included brooches, handpins and earrings or pendants, with the symbols filled in with red enamel to make the design particularly striking. The Gaulcross silver hoard, found at Ley, Banffshire, included highly detailed hand-pins and a spiral arm-band.

A spectacular hoard of Pictish silver containing eight decorated bowls, silver spoons and 12 penannular brooches of silver gilt was discovered on St Ninian’s Isle in Shetland. The hoard may have been hidden to keep it safe from Viking raiders. It was found in a wooden box that had been buried in a ruined chapel on St Ninian’s Isle.

  • A photograph of the links of a pictish silver chain

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Pater Columba dance - Pictish harp and medieval recorder

Listen to the Pater Columba dance played on the Pictish harp and medieval recorder.