Silver?-gilt copper-alloy shield-on-tongue buckle and plate
online resourceposted on 2021-10-27, 15:33 authored by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Card 1: Silver-gilt buckle with gold filigree plate, length 9.2cm. Rather narrow oval loop with angular guilloche in chip-carving. Stops under tongue tip. Underside rather concave, slightly ridged at ends of bar. Tongue has shield-on-back, containing cell set with gold cloisons and encircled by beaded gold collar. Central roundel once contained white substance, now missing; the others that radiate from it now contain bubbly dark brown substance that just might be decayed enamel. The plate, attached to bar by silver plate bent over at back, is cast with open centre: the top curved to fit base of tongue, have down-facing bird-heads with domed rivets for eyes, open beaks with concavity between. The sides are sloping at either side, slightly hollowed behind. At base and sides below bird-heads are rivets masked by domed heads and encircled by beaded gilt wire collars. Upper face of frame, at sides and on curve between birds are gold sheet metal strips fixed by two small gold rivets apiece (ends show on underside) and covered by filigree wires 5 apiece, making pseudo plait pattern. In the centre, the open area is occupied by a gold plate, with basic pattern stamped in repouseé work, and accomplished in filigree. There are two snakes, their bodies made with circlets between outline wires (all beaded), with angular heads with eyes, curly crests, and open jaws interlacing with bodies: at the tails are tailed loops. The whole panel enclosed in beaded wire frame that lies at foot of cast frame. The original backplate, bronze perhaps, is missing. The rivet shanks which project behind are silver.Card 2: Large triangular buckle, gold-plated with gold plate in centre of triangle. Entwined ornament. Socket at hinge of tongue once contained ivory (no trace now), and was surrounded with jewels. Gilt boss at each point of triangle. Length 9cm.In fragmentary condition. Plate with filigree [decoration] now loose and one side of frame now broken. Frame - buckle loop of bronze (?check) gilt, gold, filigree plate. Drawing accurate. Shield shaped back of tongue contained garnet cloisonneé ornament setting now missing.