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Open Access

Bow Brooch

Artist: Unknown Frankish Primary
mid 6th century
Dimensions: 3.31 x 1.94 x 0.5 in. (8.41 x 4.92 x 1.27 cm)
Object Type: Jewelry
Creation Place: Europe
Medium and Support: Silver-gilt on iron
Credit Line: Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.191.186)
Accession Number: L2013.13.04
On View: 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.




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