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On View in Bellarmine Hall

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Open Access

Disk Brooch

Artist: Unknown Roman Artist Primary
Second half 2nd century CE
Dimensions: 1.69 x 1.69 x 0.44 in. (4.29 x 4.29 x 1.11 cm)
Object Type: Jewelry
Creation Place: Europe
Medium and Support: Enamel on copper alloy
Credit Line: Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.191.36)
Accession Number: L2013.13.02
On View: Bellarmine Hall Galleries

The fashionable use of brooches, or fibulae, to show status was brought to the Northern Roman provinces by the Roman elite. This brooch was made in the champlevé enamel technique. Frankish tribes then adopted the wearing of brooches, but used different goldsmith techniques and shapes.


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The process of applying a vitreous coating to metal, ceramic, glass, or other surfaces by fusion using heat in a kiln or furnace, with the result of creating a smooth, hard surface.
Refers to the period in history and the style of art that developed when the Roman Republic ceased to exist and Rome expanded its territory and was ruled by emperors. The period is generally considered to begin with Octavian's victory at the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE, and to last through the rule of the Severans. For later emperors, see "Late Antique." For the period and culture of the Holy Roman Empire, use "Holy Roman Imperial." Note that some classifications include the Tetrarchic, Constantinian, and the Holy Roman Empire in the "Roman Empire."
Ornaments such as bracelets, necklaces, and rings, of precious or semiprecious materials worn or carried on the person for adornment; also includes similar articles worn or carried for devotional or mourning purposes.
public domain
Land owned and controlled by the state or federal government. Also, the status of publications, products, and processes that are not protected under patent or copyright.
Ornamental jewelry made in a variety of forms fastened by a pin. For decorative items, similar in appearance to a brooch, but attached to a garment with a spring fastening, use "clips (jewelry)."
A semi-transparent or opaque vitreous, porcelain-like coating applied by fusion to metal, glass, or ceramic, having a glossy appearance after hardening. Enamel is typically made from powdered fusible glasses (e.g., quartz, feldspar, clay, soda, and borax) and opaque colorants (e.g., cobalt blue, tin oxide) mixed with oil or water, then painted or sprayed on the object and fired up to 800 C. Enamel is used to protect a surface, to decorate objects in various colors and patterns, to form a surface for encaustic painting, and for other purposes.

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