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Clasp

  • Place of origin:

    Norway (made)
    Lapland (worn)

  • Date:

    19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver gilt filigree

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss L. F. M. Preston

  • Museum number:

    M.296&A-1922

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 69, shelf B, box 4 []

Lapland and Iceland are the most remote areas of north-west Europe. Their traditional jewellery retains many medieval characteristics lost elsewhere.

Women throughout the Nordic region usually used clasps to fasten their traditional clothing, not buttons. These clasps vary considerably by region.

This clasp is typical of those worn in Iceland and Lapland. Each side consists of three open filigree domes, like buttons, with leaf and dish pendants hanging from the front. Leaf-shaped pendants are common in jewellery from both Iceland and Lapland, but dish-shaped pendants aren’t found in Iceland. As it was bought in Trondheim, it is most likely to have come from Norwegian Lapland.

Norwegian women frequently incised their initials on their jewellery to show their ownership. This brooch has scratched letters on the back of some of its leaves, but they are so shallow that it is difficult to read them.

Physical description

Two-part clasp, each half consisting of three filigree domes, like bodice fasteners, each with a pendant leaf hanging from its centre. There are two pendant bowl-shaped discs on each part, hanging between the leaves.

Place of Origin

Norway (made)
Lapland (worn)

Date

19th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silver gilt filigree

Dimensions

Height: 4.0 cm, Width: 8.3 cm, Depth: 2.3 cm

Object history note

Bought in Trondheim, and given by Miss L. F. M. Preston

Descriptive line

Silver-gilt filigree bodice clasp (malespenne) with pendant leaves and discs, Lapland (Norway), 19th century.

Materials

Silver-gilt

Techniques

Filigree; Engraving

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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