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Archeologie > Middeleeuwen en Nieuwe Tijd
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MEDIEVAL TIMES - FRANKS - MEROWINGIAN DYNASTY - Golden pendant amulet, circa 550-650 AD

weight 1,65gr. ; gold Ø 18mm.

This pendant has a gold loop and and abundant filigrain decoration; in the centre we see a typical pre-Christian German tribe symbol surrounded by four half circles with small circles in the centre, at 3, 6, and 9 o′clock we see decorations of three small circles and beneath the loop we see three small bullets with filigrain circles. This German tribe symbol was later copied by the Vikings, where it also appears on  their jewelry as deceoration.

These kind of pendant amulets were manufactured for the important German / Merowingian aristocracy. The Merowingians had a high standard of crafsmanship; beautiful rings, ear-rings, brooches, pendants, belt fittings and decorative elements in finely wrought ironwork bear witness to the sophistication of Germanic art.

The Merovingian dynasty was the ruling family of the Franks from the middle of the 5th century until 751. They first appear as ″Kings of the Franks″ in the Roman army of northern Gaul. By 509 they had united all the Franks and northern Gaulish Romans under their rule. They conquered most of Gaul, defeating the Visigoths (507) and the Burgundians (534), and also extended their rule into Raetia (537). In Germania, the Alemanni, Bavarii and Saxons accepted their lordship. The Merovingian realm was the largest and most powerful of the states of western Europe following the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

This piece was found near the village of Driel in the Netherlands. Most likely it was a burial gift. Comparable pieces were found mainly in the eastern part of the Frankish tribal lands. The main centres in these eastern part were Cologne, Mainz and Trier. There, in the Rhineland, Christianity did not hold as much ground in the 6th and 7th centuries as during later periods. Therefore, members of the Merowingian aristocracy (a clear indication of the social strata the owners of the jewelry belonged to are the materials, i.e., precious metals, that the pieces were made of) preferred to rely on tried and tested amulets based on the native religious conventions rather than on Christian imagery (e.g., baptismal crosses).

A gold pendant with a similar German tribe symbol was found in Schwarz-Rheindorf, Germany (mid 6th century, diameter 1.7 cm). Two golden rings with this German tribe symbol were found at the graves of a double burial under the axis of the Bartholomäus Cathedral in Frankfurt, Germany (graves from 700-730 AD, the juwelry is probably produced earlier).

provenance; from a private Dutch collection, acquired in the 1960′s.

A highly interesting and important work of early medieval art. Very rare.


ARCHAEOLOGICAL OBJECT - BYZANTINE / ISLAMIC - Silver bracelet, circa 8th / 12th century AD

height circa 55mm. ; width circa 63mm. ; 29,49 gram
Made of twisted silver wire with filigrain and granule decorations at the heart-shaped ends.
Found in the Eastern Danube region (Bulgaria).
provenance: from an old German private collection.


ARCHEOLOGICAL OBJECT - BYZANTINE - Christian medieval bronze cross, circa 8th / 12th century AD

height 74mm. ; width50mm. ; weight 38,57gr.
provenance: from a private Dutch collection


ARCHAEOLOGICAL OBJECT - BYZANTINE - CENTRAL EUROPE - Cross pendant of bone, 9th/13th century

weight 15,75gr. ; bone H.50mm W.29mm.
decorated with lines and circles


MEDIEVAL TIMES - ISLAMIC WORLD - ASIA MINOR - Bronze cup with 11 bronze weights, 9th - 13th century

cup size; height36mm. ; width 60mm. ; weight 95,78gr.

This cup includes 1 round weight, 8 square weights and 2 polyhedronic
weights varying from 1,40 to 29,63gram. The largest and heaviest weight
of 29,63 gram is a 1 uncia or 10 dirhems weight (see Hendin 413)

Uncleaned with earthen deposits and dark patina.


MEDIEVAL TIMES - SOUTH-WEST EUROPE - Pilprim badge, 12th - 14th century

height 55mm. ; lead ; 51,24gr.

This example has ribbing on the obverse and a round medaillon
with W on the reverse. Two ringlets / lug-handles at the sides.

This ″flask and shell-shaped″ lead-aloy ampulla pilgrim badge refers to Saint James (Pecten Jacobaeus). Abandoning one′s daily life to go on pilgrimage to a shrine of a saint was an act of religious devotion performed by a substantial number of medieval Christians. One of the most popular souvenirs were ampullae, small vessels containing oil or water sanctified at a pilgrimage shrine. These souvenirs often were mass-produced casts in lead or its alloys. Many of these ampullae are said to be ″shell-shaped″, assuming the shape and treatment referred in the medieval mind to the scallop, the symbol initially of one of the greatest medieval pilgrimages, to Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain, and eventually of pilgrimage generally. The ″shell-shaped″ ampullae exhibit a wide range of styles and features.

literature; Kenyon College (Gambier, Ohio, U.S.A.), Journal of Medieval Art and Architecture, Ampullae, re-imbured: a formal analysis of medieval ″shell-shaped″ lead-alloy pilgrim ampullae by Greg Campbell.
provenance; a Dutch private collection
Rare and very interesting object of medieval Christianity.


MEDIEVAL TIMES - NETHERLANDS - Bone comb (dutch; wolkaarderskam) with hole, 13th / 14th century

length 51,5cm. ; wide 25/35mm. ; weight 27,48gr.
These type of combs were used in the textile production, for making yarn

provenance; found in the Netherlands in the medieval city of Dordrecht.

literature; J.Baart, opgravingen in Amsterdam, page 131, no.109
In most cases we see only fragments of these type of combs because they are
very vurnerable. This specimen is in a wonderful condition. Rare this nice.


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