Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Disk Brooch

Date:
650–700
Culture:
Frankish
Medium:
Gold; green and clear glass; mother-of-pearl; side gold, copper
Dimensions:
Overall: 1 1/16 x 5/16 in. (2.7 x 0.8 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Gold
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.192.92
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 301
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.
Stanislas Baron, Paris; J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (until 1913); Estate of J. Pierpont Morgan(1913–1917)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The Middle Ages: Treasures from The Cloisters and The Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 18, 1970–March 29, 1970.

Chicago. Art Institute of Chicago. "The Middle Ages: Treasures from The Cloisters and The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 16, 1970–July 5, 1970.

Ricci, Seymour de. Catalogue of a Collection of Merovingian Antiquities Belonging to J. Pierpont Morgan. Paris: C. Berger, 1910. no. 92, p. 22, pl. VII.

Ostoia, Vera K. The Middle Ages: Treasures from the Cloisters and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1969. no. 33, pp. 77, 254.

Boardman, Phillip C., Marcia Cohn Growdon, and Francis X. Hartigan, ed. Culture of the Middle Ages: A Festival of the Medieval Arts. Treasures of the Middle Ages. Reno, Nevada: Sierra Nevada Museum of Art, 1978. no. 3.

Brown, Katharine R. Guide to Provincial Roman and Barbarian Metalwork and Jewelry in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1981. p. 17, fig. 24.

Brown, Katharine R., Dafydd Kidd, and Charles T. Little, ed. From Attila to Charlemagne: Arts of the Early Medieval Period in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. p. 350, fig. 9c.



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