Various different techniques were used to decorate Medieval jewellery for instance granulation, filigree or gilding shown in this applique. The process involved covering a secondary metal with a different chosen metal, in this case silver. Gilding has been a popular technique used throughout the periods with early mentioning in Homer’s Odyssey, book 6.232, in which Hephaestus and Athena overlaid silverware with gold. A very thin sheet would be applied to the piece of jewellery to give the impression of prestige without using solid gold which was quite expensive. Decorated metalwork was highly desired during the medieval period and can be seen on items such as broaches, clothing fasteners and appliques.
Medieval Silver Applique with Owner’s Initial
A very fine Medieval gilted silver clothes applique featuring a domed shape. To the centre of the applique is a letter ‘H’, possibly to represent the initial of the original owner. This piece is further enriched with an enclosed band of granulation framing the letter. The reverse remains unworked.
Condition: Condition: Good condition, with original gilding still visible.