Brooch thumbnail 1
Brooch thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Brooch

1250-1350 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Brooches were used in the medieval period to fasten garments together, generally around the neck. The most common form was the circular ring brooch, but brooches were also found in a number of more unusual forms, such as this sexfoil. The subtle and contrasting use of enamel provides an added richness

Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Gold, engraved; Enamel
Brief description
Brooch, gold and enamel, of sexfoil form, engraved on the front with four-petalled flowers, and on the reverse in Lombardic lettering with an inscription to the Virgin. England or France, 1300-50.
Physical description
Brooch, gold, engraved and enamelled. Of sexfoil shape, the front is engraved with four-petalled flowers, outlined in black enamel, back with an inscription in Latin in Lombardic letters and enamelled in black '+ AVE MARIA GRACIA PLENA DON [NOBIS PACEM]' (Holy Mary, full of grace, give [us peace]).
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 2.5cm
  • Depth: 0.2cm
Marks and inscriptions
'+ AVE MARIA GRACIA PLENA DON' [NOBIS PACEM] (Latin, Lombardic lettering, on the back)
Translation
'Hail Mary, full of grace, give' [us peace]
Production
Possibly made in England or France
Subjects depicted
Summary
Brooches were used in the medieval period to fasten garments together, generally around the neck. The most common form was the circular ring brooch, but brooches were also found in a number of more unusual forms, such as this sexfoil. The subtle and contrasting use of enamel provides an added richness
Bibliographic references
  • Lightbown, Ronald. Medieval European Jewellery: with a catalogue of the collection in the Victoria & Albert Museum. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1992. cat.11. p. 494.
  • Campbell, Marian, Medieval Jewellery in Europe 1100-1500, London, V&A Publishing, 2009, p. 62, fig. 61
  • Alexander, Jonathan, and Paul Binski (eds.), Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200-1400, London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1987.
Collection
Accession number
M.245-1923

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Record createdDecember 15, 1999
Record URL
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