- Museum number
Subtriangular buckle with cast parcel-gilt silver frame, tongue and loop. In the centre of the frame is a gold-sheet inlay with interlacing filigree animal ornament on a repoussé base. The sides of the frame are inlaid with filigree strips imitating plaitwork and terminate in stylised boars' heads at the broad end; three bosses with beaded wire collars conceal the rivets which held the buckle plate to the belt. The backplate is missing. The tongue base is inlaid with geometric filigree. The front of the loop has cast lattice decoration with niello inlay, changing to panels of stepped niello inlay at the sides.
- Production date
Length: 7.65 centimetres
Width: 1.10 centimetres (max thickness)
Width: 3.65 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Youngs 1989a
This buckle exemplifies a range of Anglo-Saxon stylistic features and techniques which were readily adapted by craftsmen in Ireland and Scotland in the seventh and eighth centuries. Perhaps most significant among these was the adoption of filigree decoration and animal ornament - often, as here, in the form of a single animal elegantly executed in filigree on a repoussé base. The sinuous filigree patterns of Anglo-Saxon triangular buckle-plates were readily transposed to the similarly shaped terminals of late seventh-century penannular brooches. The fashion for large, domed bosses was also absorbed by Celtic goldsmiths, along with other Germanic features, such as geometric stepped patterns (seen here on the buckle loop) and polychrome cloisonné inlays (see, for example, belt-shrine from National Museums of Ireland, Dublin no. 1945:81 and an enamelled mount found at the Church of St Mary and St Hardulph, Breedon-on-the-Hill, Leicestershire (Parochial Church Council, Breedon-on-the-Hill)).
Date given as early 7th century.
Bibliography: Jessup, R. 1950. ‘Anglo-Saxon Jewellery’, London, 137-8, pl. XXXVIII, 2C.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2016 11 Mar- 25 Sep, Edinburgh, National Museum of Scotland, Celts.
2015-2016 24 Sep-31 Jan, London, BM, G30, 'Celts: Art and Identity'
2014 25 Apr-26 Oct, Leiden, National Museum of Antiquities, Golden Middle Ages
2003 15 May-30 Sep, London, The British Library, The Painted Labyrinth: The World of the Lindisfarne Gospels
1997 9 Jun-6 Dec, Stornoway, Museum nan Eilean, Colm Cille and the Saints of the Western Isles
1990-1991 Oct-Feb, Edinburgh, Royal Museum of Scotland, The Work of Angels: Masterpieces of Irish Metalwork
1990 7 May-30 Sep, Dublin, National Museum of Ireland, The Work of Angels: Masterpieces of Irish Metalwork
1989-1990 29 Nov-29 Apr, London, British Museum, The Work of Angels: Masterpieces of Irish Metalwork
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number