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Bow Fibula
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Bow Fibula

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Also called “digitated” fibulae due to the radiating knobs that resemble fingers or digits, these three pins show how a style changed over time. While the knobs of early (4th-century) fibulae were functional (holding the springs of the pin), they later became purely decorative. The five-knobbed fibula [54.2444] dates to the first half of the 6th century and was common in northern France and the Rhineland. Much less common, the seven-knobbed fibula [54.2443] is later in date. On the third fibula [54.2445], the knobs have degenerated into an undulating border, and the foot ends in a stylized animal head; this type of fibula has been found in graves dated to the later 6th or early 7th century, predominantly near the Rhine. They were worn in pairs at the shoulder by women with noble status in Frankish society.
Date Description Narrative
10/24/1960Treatmentcleaned; coated
6/08/1983Loan Considerationexamined for loan
4/19/1984Treatmentcleaned; coated
5/03/1996Loan Considerationexamined for loan
  • 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.
  • Smith College Museum of Art Early Medieval Research. Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton. 1996.
Provenance Carlebach Gallery, New York [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1959, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase with funds provided by the S. & A.P. Fund, 1959

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1st half 6th century (Early Medieval)
gilded bronze, garnets, glass
Accession Number
H: 3 9/16 x W: 2 x D: 5/16 in. (9.1 x 5.2 x 0.9 cm)


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