Lot 932: Merovingian Frankish Gilt Bird Brooch
December 7, 2016
Harwich, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 6th century AD. A silver-gilt bird-shaped plate brooch of the popular Frankish 'Vogelfibel' type comprising a convex-sided central panel with billeted surface, a roundel cell for the eye and a hooked cell for the beak; to the right side a stylised claw and beneath a transverse rectangular cell, both provided with a gold foil backing to add sparkle to the cloison garnets which were once set into the cells; pin-lug and catchplate to the reverse, the catchplate placed at the top of the brooch and the pin hinged from behind the tail (the reverse of normal practice"). Cf. Menghin, W. The Merovingian Period. Europe Without Borders, Berlin, 2007, p.464, item VII.10.24. 4.20 grams, 29mm (1 1/4"). Property of a gentleman; acquired in the 1960s. Bird-brooches were popular with high-status Frankish females in the earlier 6th century AD and the fashion was adopted by neighbouring peoples such as the Cantware in Kent.
Condition Report: Very fine condition.