Art Reviews, The Briefest Reviews
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The Briefest Art Review: Dorestad Fibula

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Fibula of Dorestad (Wikipedia).

Of all the Viking Age pieces in the Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, this is undoubtedly the one object that stands out. The fibula of Dorestad.

Actually, is not a piece of Viking Art. The fibula is most likely made in Burgundy, Francia, in the late eighth century. Archaeologists discovered it in an old well much further away, on the site of Dorestad the important early medieval trading town in the Low Countries (as the Netherlands was called in the Middle Ages).

The fibula is about 8,5cm in diameter and made of gold, coloured glass, red almandine and pearls. The cloisonné technique fixes the enamel to the gold. If you look carefully, you will see two crosses. The richness of this brooch indicates this fibula probably belonged to someone of high importance.

How the piece of jewelry ended up in Dorestad is mere speculation. Did the Vikings find it on their raids and bring it here? Or did someone hide it in the well to avoid Vikings finding it?

Have a look at the YouTube channel of Sandra McEwen who has a tutorial on the cloisonné technique!
And, of course, the website of the Museum of Antiquities, the Netherlands [also in English]

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