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Girdle

Girdle

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (south, made)

  • Date:

    early 17th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver-gilt partly enamelled in black, blue, ochre and brown

  • Museum number:

    162-1894

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This belt was described as 16th or 17th century German when it was acquired by the Museum in 1894.

Parts of it may be that old, but it is very unlikely that the belt was made at that time in this form. In particular, the hanger, which now links the two parts of the clasp, would originally have been inserted into the length of the belt, at the right side. These hangers were a common element of women’s marriage belts in northern and central Europe, where they acted as a kind of chatelaine for keys or knives, and continued in use with traditional costume until well into the 19th century. The closed top of the hanger is also more common in Scandinavia and the Netherlands than in the German-language area, where hangers usually had an open top.

Physical description

Silver-gilt chain belt with decorative clasp. The chain is made from rectangular 8-shaped segments each linked to its neighbour by two rectangular links. There is a small cast decorative motif applied to the centre front of each segment. The two terminal segments each end in a loop to hold the clasp. The clasp consists of two circular flat hollow pieces with domed fronts, over which there is an openwork arabesque enamelled in black, blue, ochre and brown. One half of the clasp has a ring at one side, and the other a corresponding hook of thick wire. A hanger, with a floral base and a closed top over which is appliquéd an openwork trellis, enamelled blue, with an angel’s head in the centre, is attached to the loop of the clasp.

Place of Origin

Germany (south, made)

Date

early 17th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silver-gilt partly enamelled in black, blue, ochre and brown

Marks and inscriptions

Illegible letters in rectangular frame.
Mark of unidentified maker.
On side of hook.

Dimensions

Height: 4.5 cm, Width: 91.3 cm, Depth: 1.6 cm

Object history note

ex Zschille Collection

Descriptive line

Silver-gilt chain belt with an enamelled clasp and hanger, South Germany, early 17th century

Materials

Silver-gilt

Techniques

Enamelling

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Marriage

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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