- Museum number
Gold buckle tongue; club-shaped, profiled; grooved end; moulded ribbing and faceting at base.
Cast, gold, club-shaped tongue. The tongue is cast with some working, and is of circular section, narrowing towards the end where it is bent at a sharp angle to fit over the loop. Its terminal is obliquely cut off, and is decorated with three oblique engraved lines on each side meeting at the centre in a V-shape. At its base the tongue is flattened to a semicircular-section where the attachment-hook is soldered on. The base is decorated across the top with a line of seven small, faceted triangles which interlock between two pairs of semicircular moulded ribs. The decoration was cast in but has been accentuated with an abrading tool.
The attachment-hook is a U-shaped strip with a rectangular section. It has been shaped by hammering and has a deliberately cut end.
- Production date
Length: 25 millimetres (with hook)
Length: 22.50 millimetres
Width: 6.55 millimetres
Percentage: 92 % of rim (gold)
- Curator's comments
- Andrási 2008
The original photographs of the collection do not show this object.
This tongue belongs to a Hunnic type of gold buckle, typical of the first half of the 5th century, which functioned as belt-, sword- or shoe-buckles. The main characteristics of this type are: a garnet-inlaid attachment-plate; a loop which is slightly oval or circular, with a faceted or circular section; and a tongue which is club-shaped with a circular or faceted section and with its end bent over the loop at a sharp angle. The tongue is often decorated at its end or at its base with various engraved or faceted ornaments like the present piece.
According to Zasetskaya similar buckles from Kerch can be dated from the end of the 4th to the beginning of the 5th century. Kovalevskaya gives a similar dating. But according to Aibabin the Kerch graves must be dated from the beginning of the 5th century. In Bóna’s opinion, in Pannonia and in its neighbourhood, such buckles were worn during a single generation (425–455) by the military aristocracy associated with the Hunnic empire. Damm dates the parallels in the Diergardt Collection to the first half of the 5th century. Buckles of this type from different findspots are also published by Alföldi, Werner  and Bakay.
1. Zasetskaya I.P. 1979, Bosporskiye sklepi gunnskoi epokhi kak khronologicheskiy etalon dlya datirovki pamyatnikov Vostochnoevropeiskikh stepei. KSIA 158, 5–17
2. Kovalevskaya V.B. 1979, Poyasnuye nabory Evrazii 4–9 v. Pryazhki. Arkh. SSSR E 1–2. 15–16, pls I:6–9, II:2; 3
3. Aibabin in Andrási 2008 pp.141-150
4. Bóna I. 1991, Das Hunnenreich (Budapest-Stuttgart)., 100–101, 252–4, ill. 39 gives a distribution map of Pannonian examples; Bóna I. 1993, A hunok és nagykirályaik. Budapest. 90–1, 228–9, ill. 39
5. Damm I.G. 1988, Goldschmiedearbeiten der Völkerwanderungszeit aus dem Nördlichen Schwarzmeergebiet. Katalog der Sammlung Diergardt 2. Kölner Jahrbuch für Vor- und Frühgeschichte 21, 100–101 ills 29–32; 158–65 ills 149–64
6. Alföldi A. 1932, Leletek a hun korszakból és etnikai szétválasztásuk - Funde aus der Hunnenzeit und ihre ethnische Sonderung. Arch. Hung. IX. 61–2, 78–9, 85–8; pls XXII:19–22, XXVI:2–5, XXXIV:1–12
7. Werner J. 1956, Beiträge zur Archäologie des Attila-Reiches. (BayrAW. Abh., NF 38a) Munich. 124, pls 4:1a, b; 7a, b; 27:3; 64:9
8. Bakay K. 1978, Bestattung eines vornehmen Kriegers vom 5. Jahrhundert in Lengyeltóti. (Komitat Somogy. Kreis Marcali). Act. Arch. Hung. 30, 149–72, ills 3:2–4, 4:2–4
- Not on display
- The loop is missing
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 81 (old catalogue number)