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Home > Auctions > 6th September 2022 > Visigothic Buckle with Inlays

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LOT 0392

GBP (£) 3,000 - 4,000
EUR (€) 3,540 - 4,720
USD ($) 3,640 - 4,860

Opening Bid
£2,700 (EUR 3,185; USD 3,280) (‡+bp*)

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Bid History: 0

A large buckle composed of a rectangular plate decorated with some later polychrome glass inlays arranged in rectangular and triangular cells, oval buckle with chamfered sides, D-section tongue with square plate bearing X-motif; accompanied by a custom-made display stand. 6 in. (7 1/4 in.) (155 grams, 15 cm (302 grams total, 18.5 cm including stand)).

Ex N.K., Paris-Geneva (1910-1996); thence by descent.
Accompanied by an academic report by Dr. Raffaele D'Amato.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate no.11408-189847.

Cf. Menghin, W., The Merovingian Period: Europe without Borders, Archaeology and history of the 5th-8th centuries, Germany, 2007, p.566-567, for similar; Various, I Goti (The Goths), Milano, 1994, fig.IV.11, IV.13, lett.r.; fig.IV.19, IV.20.IV.24, IV.41, IV.42; cf. an example at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 1988.305a, b.

In Visigothic Spain, the belt buckle was a very visible symbol of rank and status. Brightly coloured buckles inset with pieces of glass and stone were characteristic of Visigothic women's dress. Buckles were gilded, inlaid with precious stones and jewels and may even have been painted. Many of these were produced by Hispanic artisans in the service of the Court of Toledo. The models with surfaces honeycomb decoration and divided in multicoloured cells demonstrate the importance of the so-called polychrome fashion throughout the Mediterranean basin during the 6th century A.D. In the III level of production of these buckles, which chronologically runs from around 525 to 560-580 A.D., a certain integration of the Visigoth classes with the Roman ones of the Iberian peninsula also had repercussions in the production of clothing items. The rectangular plate buckles of this period show an increasingly complex alveolar decoration, with various geometric and multicoloured shapes. This kind of buckles were mainly found in Spain, but also in Merovingian Gaul, considering that some regions of South France in 6th century (like the Septimania) were still under the control of the Western Goths with a mixed Germanic and Roman population.