- Museum number
Gold buckle with Style II decoration in the form of a writhing animal. The loop is kidney-shaped with cloisonné garnet inlay; the tongue has a basal shield also with cloisonné garnet inlay. The plate is triangular and decorated with filigree wire. There is a garnet cross on the boss on the apex.
- Production date
Length: 98 millimetres
Width: 47 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Blurton 1997
The Germanic tribes of early medieval Europe prized treasure and bold jewellery; above all gold, when they could get it, and the glitter and opulence of garnet inlay. From the Crimea to England, and from Norway to Spain, this garnet-inlaid style signalled wealth, power and status, enduring for almost three hundred years until the supply of both gold and garnets dwindled in the seventh century. The style drew upon the traditions of eastern nomadic peoples as well as on Roman jewellery techniques. The deep red colour of garnets, often laid over hatched foil to enhance their intensity and sparkle, was probably sought after by the Germanic elites because it evoked the imperial 'purple' of Rome.
This is an example of the range of jewellery excavated from high-status Anglo-Saxon burials in England, including imposing belt fittings worn by men of rank as well as a variety of inlaid brooches worn on women's dresses.
- On display (G41/dc5)
- Exhibition history
2013 1 Jul-30 Sep, Durham, Palace Green Library, Lindisfarne Gospels Durham
1998 9 Feb-3 May, India, Mumbai, Sir Caswasjee Jahangir Hall, The Enduring Image
1997 13 Oct-1998 5 Jan, India, New Delhi, National Museum, The Enduring Image
1978-1979 17 Nov-1 Apr, Germany, Hamburg, Helms Museum-Hamburgisches Museum fur Vor-und Fruhgeschichte, Sachsen und Angelsachsen
1977 Aug-Oct, Dublin, National Museum of Ireland, ROSC 77: Early Animal Art to 800 AD
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number