Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Disk Brooch

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)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
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)
Ricci, Seymour de. Catalogue of a Collection of Germanic Antiquities Belonging to J. Pierpont Morgan. Paris: C. Berger, 1910. no. 83, p. 11, pl. V.

Zahn, Robert. "Antikenabteilungen zur Sammlung Friedrich L. von Gas." Amtliche Berichte aus den königlichen Kunstsammlungen 38, no. 1 (October 1916). p. 33 n. 4.

Kühn, Herbert. "Die Rundscheiben aus Niederbreisig im Metropolitan Museum." Ipek 11 (1936–37). p. 141, taf. 24, no. 9.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mediaeval Jewelry: A Picture Book. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. pl. 12.

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.

Roth, Helmut. Kunst und Handwerk im frühen Mittelalter: Archäologische Zeugnisse von Childerich I. bis zu Karl dem Grossen . Stuttgart: K. Theiss, 1989. pp. 126–27, fig. 88.

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.

"La fibule mérovingienne du Guéronde (Antoing)." Paléontologie et préhistoire: bulletin de la Société tournaisienne 6, no. 1 (January 1996). pp. 151–55, fig. 12, 14.

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.

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