Merovingian Frankish 'Cloisonné' Purse Fitting 011731

Merovingian Frankish 'Cloisonné' Purse Fitting 011731
Merovingian Frankish 'Cloisonné' Purse Fitting
Copper-alloy, crystal and glass, 9.38 grams, 34.41 mm. 6th-7th century AD. A finely-made D-shaped fitting from the flap of a purse. The copper-alloy base is decorated with a geometric pattern executed in cloisonné, with intricately cut glass panels forming an interlocking curvilinear design in clear, dark blue and cupric green shades. The central element is a D-shaped cell containing a shaped and polished crystal; this is surrounded by a single cell of the same shape, now empty but originally filled with an organic material, probably polished bone. The design is surrounded by a gilded border consisting of a vertical wall with a horizontal ropework flange. On the reverse are the remains of two attachment pins. The cellwork is executed with copper-alloy strips of about 3mm height. Similar decorative cloisonné techniques are used on the composite brooch in the Canterbury St. Martins Hoard, associated with the Frankish princess, Bertha, who married into the Kentish royal family in the late 6th century. Reference: Webster, L. & Backhouse, J. The Making of England. Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900, London, 1991, p.23 item 5(f). Provenance: from an old European collection. Very fine condition.
 
This item was accompanied by an illustrated Certificate of Authenticity.

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