Buckle

Southwestern French (Toulouse?)
Early medieval
mid 6th–7th century


Findspot: Cemetery of Tabariane, Teilhet (Ariège), France

Dimensions

8 x 16.7 cm (3 1/8 x 6 9/16 in.)

Accession Number

49.463

Medium or Technique

Tin on leaded latten (86.9% copper, 6.2% tin, 5.6% lead, 1.3% zinc)

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Metalwork

Buckle consisting of loop, tongue, and plate attached with a hinge: an oval loop with two circular hinges; a tongue with shield-shaped base attached with a hinge; and a “beaked” plate, graduated in width, with four hinges. Cast, chased and tinned. The plate terminates in a semicircle flanked by triangular projections (“beaks”) and has seven cast bosses of graduated size riveted to it. Five tangs pierced with holes for attachment to a belt are arranged in a quincunx on the back. The central design on the plate, showing two quadrilobed squares (called “Motif A,” see James 1977, p. 143) against a stippled ground is cast. Surrounding decoration against a punched ground - guilloche and arcades - while resembling chasing, is probably cast as well. On the shield, engraved strapwork against a punched ground consists of a central cross with, on each arm, semicircles abutting an outer band. An undulating punched line fills the outer band at the top. The loop is cast with raised bands flanking the tongue and decorated with an engraved chevron pattern on a punched ground.

Provenance

Between 1901 - 1903, excavated at the cemetery of Tarbariane, Teilhet, France [see note 1]. Eustache de Lorey, Paris [see note 2]. 1937, Maurice Ratton, Paris; September 30, 1937, sold by Ratton to the Brummer Gallery, New York (stock no. P14089); April 21, 1949, Brummer sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, lot 233, to the MFA for $350. (Accession Date: May 12, 1949)

NOTES:
[1] Robert Rogier, "Cimetière Barbare de Tabariane, Commune de Teilhet (Ariège)," Bulletin Archéologique, 1908, pp. 313-319, fig. 2. [2] According to the Brummer sale catalogue of 1949, lot 233, p. 56. This information is not, however, on the gallery stock card.

Credit Line

William Francis Warden Fund