Belt Buckle

Date: ca. 600

Culture: Frankish

Medium: Iron with silver inlay and copper alloy rivets

Dimensions: Overall: 6 x 1 1/2 x 2 11/16 in. (15.3 x 3.8 x 6.8 cm)

Classification: Metalwork-Iron

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.193.161


This iron buckle (acc. nos. 17.193.161–.163), imposing in size, might have been worn by either a man or a woman. The intricate design of its decoration was achieved by squeezing narrow twisted strips of silver into patterns engraved into the surface of the prefabricated iron pieces. A complete belt would have consisted of a buckle, a counter plate that was placed opposite the buckle, and sometimes a rectangular plate placed in the middle of the belt at the back for decoration.