Frankish; Found in Niederbreisig, western Germany
Gold sheet with filigree and inlays of garnet, glass, and mother-of-pearl
Diam. 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.193.83)
The art of the peoples living under Merovingian rule was largely that of the metalworker. Jewelry, particularly belonging to women, survives from cemeteries and tombs. The Franks, like many other Germanic tribes, valued articles of personal adornment, wearing them as status symbols and signs of power. Finely wrought brooches such as this example from a grave along the Rhine River were worn and admired in daily life and accompanied their owners after death.