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Peacock-Shaped Fibula
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Peacock-Shaped Fibula

Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This fibula is one of a pair crafted in a workshop in northern France. The peacock likely reflects Roman or Byzantine influence, as it is not native to northern France. In early Christian art, the peacock was a symbol of immortality. Knowledge of the bird could have passed to northern France through the transmission of Christian iconography in textiles, books, and other portable objects. The fibula originally was one of a pair of brooches worn by women on either side of the chest. A second gold peacock fibula, plausibly the mate to this one, belongs to the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest.
  • 4000 Years of Modern Art. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1953-1957.
  • Early Christian and Byzantine Art. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1947.
  • Jewelry - Ancient to Modern. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979-1980.
  • Vive la France! French Treasures from the Middle Ages to Monet. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1999-2000.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, [date of acquisition unknown] by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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mid-late 6th century (Early Medieval)
gold, bronze (over an iron core), garnets, glass
(Gold, Silver & Jewelry)
Accession Number
H: 1 1/8 x W: 1 1/2 x D: 5/16 in. (2.9 x 3.9 x 0.9 cm)

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