Norman Gilt Romanesque Buckle Brooch with Birds


A silver-gilt buckle brooch, beautifully decorated with a pair of birds holding a plume between their beaks. Their tails are crossed in such a way that the brooch itself appears to resemble a heart. There is a loop to one shoulder and a flat-section tongue.

Date: Circa 12th century AD
Provenance: Formerly the property of Lord McAlpine, acquired from M Braham in the 1980s.
Condition: Very fine condition.


SKU: EH-061 Category: Tags: , ,

During the Medieval period, the wearing of brooch was very fashionable, with the buckle pinned at the neck as a fastener. Brooches of annular form were used by both men and women from the 12th century onwards, and became extremely popular during the 13th and 14th centuries. Usually they were made of bronze or silver, and in some cases in gold. This brooch displays the fine Norman Romanesque work of this period: Norman visual art shares features similar to those of the cultures they conquered, as is seen in metalwork, stonework, and religious artefacts.

Romanesque art began to appear in Europe around 1000 AD, not giving way to the Gothic style until the 12th – 14th century (though this depends on the region). The styles and techniques used in the Romanesque period are similar to those of the Byzantine Empire. Objects of important practical use, such as signet rings and belt buckles, were turned into fine jewellery, with buckles being made from precious metal and decorated with precious stones and pearls.


Weight 1.79 g
Dimensions L 1.9 x W 1.8 cm