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Identification and Creation

Object Number
2001.270.2
Title
Openwork Belt Ornament
Classification
Jewelry
Work Type
jewelry
Date
late 7th-8th century CE
Places
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe
Period
Middle Ages, Early
Culture
Avar
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/146196

Physical Descriptions

Medium
Gilt copper alloy
Technique
Cast, lost-wax process
Dimensions
2.6 x 1.4 x 0.8 cm (1 x 9/16 x 5/16 in.)
Technical Details

Technical Observations: The ornaments were cast, possibly by lost-wax casting or in two-part stone molds. Some working of the surfaces was done after casting. The patinas of these pieces are generally black, gray, or green; six ornaments are decorated with gold leaf (2001.270.1, 2001.270.2, 2001.270.3, 2001.270.4, 2001.270.6, and 2001.270.7). Different alloys are represented in the group, as indicated by the different colors of patinas and bare metal. Mechanical attachments include iron rods for hinged ornaments and rivets, some with metal washers extant, for attachment to some other substrate, perhaps leather. Some of the ornaments are heavily encrusted with burial dirt; many have minor losses.

Included in the copper alloy belt ornament group is a stone mold (2001.270.59) with carving on two sides: one finished, the other apparently unfinished. The finished side has a well-defined cut for a sprue and a hole used to key the stone to the other half of a two-part mold. It is possible that this mold was used to produce wax models for use in lost-wax casting, rather than the metal ornaments themselves.


Carol Snow (submitted 2002)

Provenance

Recorded Ownership History
Bruce Ferrini, Akron, OH, gift; to the Harvard University Art Museums, 2001.