Alemannic, Migration Period, 6th-7th century / Pair of Fibulae / 6th-7th CenturyAlemannic, Migration Period, 6th-7th century
Pair of Fibulae
6th-7th Century

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Creator Nationality: Alamannic
Creator Name-CRT: Alemannic, Migration Period, 6th-7th century
Title: Pair of Fibulae
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 500
Creation End Date: 699
Creation Date: 6th-7th Century
Object Type: Costume and Jewelry
Classification Term: Jewelry
Materials and Techniques: cast silver, parcel gilt, with niello
Dimensions: Overall: 10.5cm x 6.4cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 2000.119.1
ID Number: 2000.119.2
Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
Provenance: Marcus Hollersberger, Munich; [Artemis Fine Art, London]; [Robert Haber & Associates, New York]
Style or Period: Migration period
Context: A fibula is a garment clasp or fastener that functions somewhat like a modern safety pin. Since buttons were not used in Europe during the Migration Period, fibulae were needed to keep a cloak or garment closed and in place. Worn by both men and women, they were produced in a variety of sizes and shapes and were often highly decorated with gilding, inlay decoration, or animal forms. The fibulae shown here are made of cast silver that was chased and engraved with abstract patterns and then partially gilded. A ridge down the center of each is further embellished with a "dot and vine" motif in niello (fused silver sulphide). The design and ornamentation of these fibulae show that they were produced by a tribal confederation known as the Alemmani, which occupied the territories of modern Germany and Switzerland between the 3rd and the 7th centuries ad.In Migration Period Europe, a single fibula was commonly worn on the right shoulder. However, a matched pair was occasionally worn on opposite shoulders to fasten an outer cloak. The design of these fibulae is typical of examples worn by women. The type is often called a "digitated" fibula, because its five dragon-headed termini are reminiscent of fingers. These fibulae are a matched pair, probably made for the same female owner. They must therefore derive from a single grave and were made by the same artist.
AMICA ID: CMA_.2000.119.1-2
AMICA Library Year: 2001
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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