Bow Brooch

Date: late 6th–early 7th century

Geography: Made in Central Italy

Culture: Langobardic

Medium: Silver-gilt, niello

Dimensions: Overall: 6 3/16 x 3 11/16 x 11/16 in. (15.7 x 9.4 x 1.8 cm)

Classification: Metalwork-Silver

Credit Line: Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1955

Accession Number: 55.56


Hidden within the hatched geometric patterns that cover the surface of this impressively large brooch are zoomorphic creatures with ribbonlike bodies and heads with long jaws. They are complemented by the animal heads projecting from the edges. Brooches with a menagerie of stylized creatures are characteristic of Langobardic jewelry production in the sixth and early seventh centuries.