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Creator Nationality: European; Roman Empire
Creator Name-CRT: Provincial Roman
Title: The Vermand Treasure: Belt Buckle and Three Mounts for Spear Shafts
View: Principal view
Creation Start Date: 398
Creation End Date: 402
Creation Date: ca. 400
Creation Place: Found in Vermand, France
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Materials and Techniques: Silver gilt inlaid with niello
Dimensions: Buckle: L. 2 3/8 in. (6 cm), Spear shafts: L. 1 1/8 in. (3 cm) (.143), 3 3/4 in. (9.4 cm) (.144), 4 3/4 in. (12.2 cm) ( .145)
Description: The Romans referred to the people living beyond their borders as barbarians and often employed them as mercenary soldiers to safeguard the empire's borders. This group of objects?a set of three mounts for spear shafts and a belt buckle?were found in the grave of a barbarian warrior stationed in the Roman province of Gaul. Though the burial, located in Vermand, France, had been looted before its discovery by archaeologists in 1885, it remains unsurpassed among barbarian warrior graves in the number and quality of objects it held. Among its furnishings were an ax, spears, sword, and shield (the boss and handle of which also belong to the Museum's collection). The exceptional craftsmanship and rich design of the spear-shaft ornaments and buckle suggest they belonged to a high-ranking military leader. Cast into the pieces are intricate patterns of scrolls, rosettes, and fantastic animals. The surface is gilded, with vivid patterns created though niello inlays. The six-pointed interlaced star so prominent on one mount was not at this time a Jewish symbol ; it appears as a decorative motif in both Roman and Germanic art.
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York
ID Number: 17.192.143?.146
Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Copyright: Copyright ? 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
AMICA ID: MMA_.17.192.143-.146
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright (c) 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved
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