mid 6th century
3.31 x 1.94 x 0.5 in. (8.41 x 4.92 x 1.27 cm)
Medium and Support:
Silver-gilt on iron
Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.191.186)
Bellarmine Hall Galleries
The bow brooch features garnets, the most commonly used gem in Germanic jewelry. This brooch was decorated by chip-carving, a metalworking technique in which a chisel is used to remove small chips of metal thereby creating facets. Unlike bird and disc brooches, bow brooches were not worn on the torso. Rather, they were suspended from a woman’s belt or girdle, and hung at about knee’s length.