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Eagle Fibula
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Eagle Fibula


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Impressive Visigothic "fibula" (pin) such as this one shaped as a stylized eagle looking skyward were worn in pairs at the shoulders. The "fibula" is studded with garnets and other semiprecious stones separated by thin gold filaments forming compartments (a technique known as "cloisonné"). The metal beneath the gems is cross-hatched to increase the refraction, and therefore the brilliance of the gems. Similar examples show that the tails were originally decorated with pearl pendants. The eagle was one of the most popular design motifs of the Migration period and was especially favored by the Goths.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
4/19/1984Treatmentcleaned
Exhibitions
  • Early Christian and Byzantine Art. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1947.
  • Jewelry - Ancient to Modern. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979-1980.
  • Objects of Adornment: Five Thousand Years of Jewelry from the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa; Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota. 1984-1987.
  • Jewelry from the Walters Art Gallery and the Zucker Family Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1987.
  • Realms of Faith: Medieval and Byzantine Art from the Walters Art Museum. Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville. 2001-2002.
  • Realms of Faith: Medieval and Byzantine Art from the Walters Art Museum. Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville. 2002-2005.
  • Bedazzled: 5,000 Years of Jewelry from the Walters Art Museum. Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2009.
  • Heirs of the Empire in North Africa-The Kingdom of the Vandals. Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe. 2009-2010.
Provenance Jacques Seligmann, Paris [date of acquisition unknown], by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1910, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1910

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Creator
Period
6th-early 7th century (Early Medieval)
Medium
bronze, gold cuttlefish, and gemstones
(Metal)
Accession Number
54.423
Measurements
H: 4 5/16 x W: 1 7/8 x D: 9/16 in. (10.9 x 4.8 x 1.4 cm)
Geography
  • Spain, Palencia, Herrera de Pisuerga (Place of Discovery)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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