Explore highlights
Iron and silver buckle


Length: 31.100 cm

Britain, Europe and Prehistory

    Iron and silver buckle

    Merovingian, 7th century AD
    From Amiens, Somme, France

    Overlaid with silver sheet and inlaid with silver wire

    In spite of its large size, this buckle was probably worn on a woman’s belt, together with a counter-plate of similar design. Two of the silver rivets for attachment to the belt are missing. The buckle is very elaborately decorated with interlaced Style II animals and animal heads, indicating the owner’s high social status. It has been suggested that this style was at first adopted from Scandinavia by the Frankish court as a sign of political independence from the East Roman Empire.

    The silver is keyed by hammering into fine grooves in the surface of the iron, creating a colour contrast between the two metals. This type of work is typical of the late sixth and seventh centuries in continental Europe.

    W. Menghin (ed.), Tauschierarbeiten der Merowing (Berlin, 1994)

    H. Newman, An illustrated dictionary of J (London, Thames and Hudson, 1981)


    Browse or search over 4,000 highlights from the Museum collection

    Shop Online

    Life and training of embroiderers, £8.99

    Life and training of embroiderers, £8.99