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Gold earring

 

Height: 5.000 cm

M&ME 1872,6-4,595

Prehistory and Europe

    Gold earring

    Lombardic, 7th century AD
    Probably from Italy

    Inlaid gold earring of 'basket' type

    This gold earring, with inlays of garnet and glass, belongs to one of the commonest Lombardic types. 'Basket' earrings are named after the basket-shaped pendant of openwork filigree at the back of a decorative disc. The example here has green glass in the centre and garnets in collets around it. There is a loop at the base for a smaller pendant now missing. The front of the hoop is also inlaid with garnets and at the sides are wire loops which would have been strung with small beads, or possibly pearls. The earring is further embellished with filigree and granulation.

    Earrings were adopted by the Lombards from the fashion of Late Antiquity (about 4th-mid-7th centuries AD). This one copies a Byzantine form.

    K.R. Brown, 'Langobardic earrings. A collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art re-assessed', The Connoisseur-3, 205: 822 (1980), pp. 272-75

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