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Gold Earring

Date:
400–500
Culture:
Ostrogothic (?)
Medium:
Pendant: gold - sheet; granulation. Suspension Loop: gold; wire - rope.
Dimensions:
Overall: 1 x 1 1/8 x 3/8 in. (2.5 x 2.9 x 1 cm) 1 3/16in. (3cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Gold
Credit Line:
Purchase, 1898
Accession Number:
98.11.95
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 301
Hoop earrings with polyhedral beads, derived from Late Roman jewelry, were adopted by eastern Germanic women in the fifth century. The distinctive beads, which serve as terminals for the hoops, generally have fourteen sides, eight of which are triangular and six diamond-shaped. Versions have been found made of silver and gold; the polyhedral terminals might be composed of simple undecorated planes or inlaid with semiprecious stones or glass. The Museum's pair, with granulated ornament and a hoop made of two twisted wires, represents a sophisticated and delicate example of the goldsmith's art.
Found in Kerch, Ukraine.
Menghin, Wilfried, Tobias Springer, and Egon Wamers, ed. Germanen, Hunnen und Awaren: Schätze der Völkerwanderungszeit. Nuremberg: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, 1987. no. I.20.b, p. 114.

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. 108, 340, fig. 10.6.



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