Merovingian pin and brooch

Merovingian pin and brooch (fibula)
Marilles, Belgium
2nd half of the 6th-early 7th cent. CE
Gold, silver, garnet; L.17.5 cm (pin); D. 408 cm (brooch)
Inv. B 000787-006 and B. 000787-007

In 1859, two tombs were discovered by chance in the hamlet of Nodrenge, in Marilles. Built of small stones and covered with stoned slabs, the adjacent tombs contained luxurious objects, including this pyramidal-head pin decorated with cloisonné and filigree, and this disc-shaped brooch. The tombs’ contents indicate that one was a man’s and the other a woman’s: men were buried with weapons, women with personal adornments, dishes and sometimes tools. The bodies were placed in wooden coffins before being laid in the earth. Other excavations undertaken in 1895 in the vicinity of these two tombs revealed the presence of thirteen other very poor burials, highlighting by contrasts the exceptional wealth of the first two.

 

Discover this masterpiece on the online museum catalogue, in the book Masterpieces and, untill 29th March 2020, in our temporary exhibition "Crossroads: Travelling through the Middle Ages".