Gold Appliqué in the Form of a Cross, Gold, Langobardic

Gold Appliqué in the Form of a Cross

ca. 600
Overall: 1 1/4 x 1 1/4in. (3.2 x 3.2cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, 1895
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 301
Once they were in Italy, the Langobards adopted the custom of sewing one or more crosses on the shrouds of the deceased. The origin and meaning of the custom remain uncertain.

This group of objects was found in the grave of a Langobardic horseman, who was buried in his warrior dress, with weapons, shield, helmet, and the fittings for his horse. What remains are the many gold pieces that would have ornamented his clothing and equipment, and they attest to the great wealth of the Langobardic aristocracy within a generation of settling in Italy.
Found in Castel Trosino, central Italy.; Samuel T. Baxter, Florence (from at least 1876-1895)
Baxter, S.T. "On Some Lombardic Gold Ornaments Found at Chiusi." The Archaeological Journal 33 (1876). pp. 106-107, pl. III, nos. 5, 6.

Catalogue of Etruscan jewellery with some Roman and Langobardic ornaments in the collection of S.T. Baxter. Florence: Claudian Press, 1886. no. 169, p. 17.

Orsi, Paolo. "Di due crocette auree del Museo di Bologna e di altre simili trovate nell’Italia superiore e centrale." Atti e Memorie della Reale Deputazione di Storia Patria per le Province di Romagna, 3rd ser., 5 (1886–87). p. 371.

Venturi, Adolfo. Storia dell'arte italiana: Volume 2, Dall'arte Barbarica alla Romanica. Milan: Ulrico Hoepli, 1902. p. 44, fig. 47.

Åberg, Nils. Die Goten und Langobarden in Italien. Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksells Boktryckeri, 1923. pp. 163–64.

Fuchs, Siegfried. Die langobardischen Goldblattkreuze aus der Zone südwärts der Alpen. Berlin: Gebr. Mann, 1938. no. 121, pp. 84–85.

Delogu, Paolo. "Sulla Datazione di Alcuni oggetti in Metallo prezioso dei Sepolcreti Langobardi in Italia." In Atti del Convegno internazionale sul tema: La civiltà dei longobardi in Europa (Roma, 24-26 maggio 1971; Cividale del Friuli, 27-28 maggio 1971). Rome: Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, 1974. p. 175, fig. 1, ill. p. 160.

Brown, Katharine Reynolds. "Five Langobardic Gold Sheet Crosses in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Problems Concerning Gold Sheet Crosses." The Antiquaries Journal 61 (1981). pp. 311–14, pl. LIa.

Brown, Katharine R. Migration Art, A.D. 300-800. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995. no. 46, pp. 35-36.

Paroli, Lidia, ed. La necropoli altomedievale di Castel Trosino: Bizantini e Longobardi nelle Marche. Ascoli Piceno: Museo Archeologico Statale, 1995. pp. 18–19, ill. p. 18.

Vallet, Françoise. "Une Tombe de Riche Cavalier Lombard Découverte à Castel Trosino." In La Noblesse romaine et les chefs barbares du IIIe au VIIe siècle, edited by Michel Kazanski, and Françoise Vallet. Rouen: Musée des Antiquités Nationales, 1995. pp. 335–41, fig. 4, no. 1, 7.

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. 151, 338, fig. 13.17.