Polynesian objects from early European exploration, £19.99
Height: 10.200 cm
Width: 9.700 cm
Weight: 261.000 g
ME 1921-6-28, 2
Georgian, 1st-2nd century AD
From western Transcaucasia, modern Republic of Georgia
Brass belt claps of this distinctive kind have only been found in the Caucasus and Transcaucasia. They are made of cast metal. They may imitate plaques of thin gold or silver, decorated with twisted wire and filigree, which would have been nailed at the corners to wood or leather backings.
Analysis has shown that the examples in the British Museum are made of brass and this indicates a date no earlier than the first century AD. The plaques may represent a very late tradition derived from Koban metalwork of the north-cental Caucasus. This example depicts a stylized stag attacked by a dog. This subject was the most popular theme on these belt-clasps.
J.E. Curtis, 'Some Georgian belt-clasps' in The arts of the Eurasian stepp, Colloquium on Art and Archaeology in Asia No. 7 (London, 1978), pp. 88-120
H. Tait, Jewellery through 7000 years-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1976)
H. Tait (ed.), Seven thousand years of jewell (London, The British Museum Press, 1986)