Piece from a Luxury Dagger


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 301

These pieces—grip terminal, mounts, scabbard chape, all in gold—are all that remain of a luxury dagger. The stamped designs of sea monsters and dolphins belong to Byzantine metalworking tradition and appear on other Langobardic objects from this period.

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.

Piece from a Luxury Dagger, Gold, Langobardic

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