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Basket Earring
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Basket Earring

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description One of the most common types of Langobardic jewelry, the basket earring derives its name from the hemispherical "basket" of gold wire or basket-like dome of sheet gold on its hoop. The front disk of gold is inlaid with gold wire cells to hold glass pastes arranged in the shape of a cross. Between the arms of the cross are four gold bosses decorated with gold granules. There also are beads of gold granulation creating a border around the circumference of the front disk. At the bottom of the disk is a gold wire loop for the suspension of a pendant. On the back, the sheet-gold basket has a cruciform pattern of incised circles. The repetition of the cross motif on this earring suggests Christian Langobard patronage. The loop is circular and has gold pseudo-filigree. Unusual features of the earring include the hinge on the loop for the suspension of the disk and basket and the hinged pendant loop.
Date Description Narrative
  • 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.
Provenance Joseph Brummer, Paris; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1927, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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late 6th-7th century (Early Medieval)
gold, glass
(Gold, Silver & Jewelry)
Accession Number
2 x 7/8 x 11/16 in. (5.1 x 2.2 x 1.7 cm)
  • Italy (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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