Gold sheet appliques

Period: Migration

Date: 1st half of the 5th century A.D.

Culture: East Germanic or nomadic (?)

Medium: Gold

Dimensions: (Type A): 9/16 × 3/8 × 1/16 in. (1.4 × 1 × 0.2 cm)
(Type B): 7/16 × 1/4 × 1/16 in. (1.1 × 0.6 × 0.2 cm)

Classification: Gold and Silver

Credit Line: Purchase, 1898

Accession Number: 98.11.71


These delicate objects come from the Crimea in the Ukraine, where they adorned the grave clothing of eastern Germanic men and women buried there in the fifth century A.D. Sewn onto the sleeves and necklines of the garments, these appliqués are made from thin gold foil, which was punched and pressed to create various patterns. The decoration of festive and official attire with small gold appliqués had a long tradition in the Crimea. Ancient texts describe one third-century ruler of the Bosporan kingdom as wearing a robe decorated with several hundreds of them.