Gold; garnet; red, pale, amber and blue glass; mother-of-pearl
Overall: 1 3/4 x 7/8 in. (4.4 x 2.2 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
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.
Friedrich Queckenberg, Niederbreisig, Germany; Joseph Queckenberg, Niederbreisig, Germany; J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (until 1913); Estate of J. Pierpont Morgan(1913–1917)
Brown, Katharine R. Frankish Art in American Collections. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1984. p. 27, fig. 18.
Roosens, Heli. "Caractères stylistiques de la broche mérovingienne d'Antoing-Guéronde." Revue du Nord 71, no. 280 (January–March 1989). pp. 179–80, fig. 2.
Brown, Katharine R. Migration Art, A.D. 300-800. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995. pp. 12, 30, 35, 49-51, fig. 6.
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. 354, fig. 9a.