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Disk Brooch

Date:
7th–8th century
Geography:
Made in northern France or western Germany
Culture:
Frankish
Medium:
Gold sheet, filigree, garnets with patterned foil backings
Dimensions:
Overall: 1 15/16 x 1 15/16 x 1/2 in. (4.9 x 5 x 1.2 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Gold
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.191.134
  • Description

    The dress of Frankish women generally consisted of a tunic, cinched by a belt from which hung an array of pendants. A wrap or cloak went over the tunic. Shoes and hosiery, fastened with buckles, covered the legs. Earrings, necklaces, and hairpins completed the ensemble.

    Aspects of this dress changed from the 300s to the 600s, and brooches in particular convey changes in taste. From the 300s to the 500s, pairs of small brooches, in an array of inventive shapes, held the wrap in place. By the 600s, a single large disc brooch, usually elaborately decorated, served the same function. No other piece of jewelry is more characteristic of Frankish dress than the brooch, and no other better demonstrates the virtuosity of Frankish metalworkers.

  • Provenance

    Found in Férebrianges or Petit-Troussy, northern France; J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (until 1913); Estate of J. Pierpont Morgan(1913–1917)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
464825

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