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Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Called a "hand-pin" because it resembles the palm of the hand with the fingers pointing out at right angles, this pin served as a cloak fastener. Hand-pins were fashionable in Ireland and Scotland in the 6th and 7th centuries. Originally the five pellet "fingertips" along the top of the pin and the sunken background of the spiraling design on its crescent-shaped "palm" were filled with colorful enamel. A tie once passed through the hole in the center of the palm and was wrapped around the tip of the pin to keep it securely in place. The shape of the pin is a creative adaptation of a Romano-British brooch design dating from the 4th century.
Date Description Narrative
10/24/1960Examinationexamined for exhibition
6/15/1985Loan Considerationexamined for loan
  • Jewelry - Ancient to Modern. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979-1980.
Provenance Robert Day, Cork: Robert Day Sale, Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, London, May 19-22, 1913, no. 357; Patrick O' Connor, New York; Walters Art Museum, 1950, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase with funds provided by the S. & A.P. Fund, 1950

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6th-7th century (Early Medieval)
Accession Number
8 11/16 x 7/8 x 3/4 in. (22 x 2.2 x 1.9 cm)
  • United Kingdom, Ireland, Antrim (Toome) (Place of Discovery)


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