Inlaid copper-alloy shield-on-tongue buckle and plate
online resourceposted on 2021-10-26, 15:11 authored by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Bronze buckle and plate, total length 8.6cm. D-shaped loop, of oval section and solid, with straight bar having a slight waisting before the shield-on-back: this has cast cell with 1 transverse and two diagonal cloisons, set with 3 flat garnets on gold chequered foil, and one triangular green glass inset apparently also on chequered foil. On the underside a cast on loop, now partly broken. Triangular plate, heavy, cast with special loops to fit over the bar and around the tongue loop, now damaged. The plate has hemispherical projections at sides close to upper angles and at base; each of these has a rivet projecting upward from back for about 4 mm, with decorative domed head. The rivets make it clear there was never a backplate and that there must have been hollow convex bosses on the front around the rivets, no missing. Around the edges of the plate, including the lobes, is a cast imitation of filigree beading. The inner areas of the lobes are plain, but down each side of the plate is a band of cast simple interlace, and inside again a plain triangular panel with 2 borders of banding. The triangular panel does not quite reach the top, and here a plain panel beneath the back of the tongue has a border of double-triangle punch decoration, possibly imitation of niello work. The buckle as a whole is a competent piece clearly made in imitation of the more elaborate and expensive filigree decorated pieces. Slight indentation on foot lobe where boss once was. Back somewhat hollowed.The buckle plate seems to be made of a (relatively heavy) kind of resin. The buckle loop and tongue seem to be genuine. – B.B.