Medieval England Jewelry: Earrings, Necklaces, Collars

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Though common in the Merovingian and Carlo-vingian epoch, earrings appear to have been worn only to a limited extent, and that at the commencement of the period at present under discussion. Pendants formed of quadrilateral prisms set on each side with cabochon garnets and hung with small strings of garnet beads are attached to the ears of the tenth-century figure of St. Foy in the treasury at Conques, though it is not impossible that these, like many of the gems that adorn the statue, may be of earlier workmanship.

That the Byzantine style of earring, of crescent form, was worn during the eleventh and twelfth centuries is evident from a twelfth-century bronze ewer, in the shape of a head of a woman, of Flemish work, in the Museum of Budapest.

Earrings, however, enjoyed no great popularity during the Middle Ages, and the cause of this must be traced to the fashion which prescribed for women a style of coiffure by which the hair fell down at the sides, or was covered by a veil. There is a reproduction of this remarkable specimen of Dinanderie in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

MEDIEVAL NECKLACES would have effectively hidden any ornaments for the ear. It was only at the end of the fourteenth century that fashion again allowed the hair to be worn high. Pendent rings of gold for ladies’ ears are mentioned in the Roman de la Rose, and statues occasionally exhibit short earrings, pearls attached to the lobe of the ear, or stones in the form of drops. Earrings, indeed, did not come into very common use until the close of the fifteenth or the beginning of the sixteenth century.

NECKLACES AND COLLARS: The custom of wearing necklaces and neck-chains was much more limited during the Middle Ages than it had been in antiquity and at the time of the great migrations. Women’s necklaces can hardly be proved to have been in general use before the end of the fourteenth century, and during the Middle Ages seldom attained the exaggerated style they exhibited at the period of the Renaissance.

They consisted mostly of plaited cords of gold wire, and probably of single or double chains of pearls. These originally encircled the throat, but at a later date were worn more upon the breast. Though many forms of personal ornament are mentioned in early wills and inventories, we rarely meet with a reference to the necklace until the fourteenth century, nor is it pictured on monumental effigies or brasses until the beginning of the century following.

If worn at all prior to this date, it must simply have served the purpose of supporting pendants of various forms known as pentacols. These neck-chains, or collars as they were termed, soon began to receive additional enrichment, and the inventories of the fifteenth century contain frequent descriptions of neck-lets adorned with enamels and precious stones.

Eleanor, Countess of Arundel bequeathed to her daughter “a golden collar for the neck, with a jewel set with precious stones hanging thereat.” The fashion for rich necklaces was especially in vogue at the luxurious Court of the Dukes of Burgundy; nor had the Court of Richard II been behindhand in the display of this species of ornament, for the magnificent wedding presents of his wife, Isabella of France, included a collar of gold set with precious stones of immense value.

The word carcanet seems to have come into use about this time for rich necklaces of precious stones, and to have been applied a little later to the bands of jewels commonly entwined in ladies’ hair. Though never so generally worn as in the sixteenth century, a considerable number of these jeweled ornaments are represented in the exquisite paintings of the fifteenth century.

One of the most elaborate of all is the superb gold neck-let, brilliantly enameled with small and many-colored flowers, shown on the portrait of Maria, wife of Pierantonio Baroncelli, in the Uffizi Gallery at Florence, by an unknown Flemish painter of the latter part of the fifteenth century.

Close by, in the same gallery, is Van der Goes’ celebrated triptych, presented to the Spedale di Santa Maria Nuova by Tommaso Portinari, agent of the Medici in Bruges. Upon the right wing is Maria, wife of the donor, with her daughter. The former wears a magnificent necklace of exquisite design, its interlacing gold work shaped into the form of roses, enameled red, white, and blue, each set respectively with a sapphire, a ruby, and a large pearl.

The latter is adorned with a necklace composed of a double row of pearls connected by oval jeweled ornaments, beneath is hung a trefoil-shaped pendant set with rubies, to which is attached a large drop-pearl. A precisely similar ornament is seen in another work by Van der Goes, painted about 1473—the well-known portrait of Margaret, queen of James III of Scotland, now at Holy rood.

This picture was probably executed in Flanders from material supplied by the donor, and the artist appears to have adorned Queen Margaret with the same beautiful necklace, probably of Florentine workmanship, which he had seen round the neck of Signorina Portinari. Jane Shore, the beautiful and unfortunate mistress of Edward IV, and wife of the rich jeweler of Lombard Street, is represented in her two portraits, one at King’s College, Cambridge, and the other at Eton, wearing elaborate necklaces.

Around her throat are two strings of pearls, with a neck-let below of circular pieces of Gothic pattern, supporting a lozenge-shaped pendant of similar design adorned with pearls. Among sculptured representations of the neck-let the most interesting is that on the monument of Sir John Crosby (d. 1475) and his wife in St. Helen’s Church, Bishopsgate, where the latter wears a very handsome necklace of roses, to which is attached a cluster of three roses with three pendants below.

Sir John’s collar is somewhat similarly formed of rosette-shaped ornaments. An early instance of a heavy neck-chain of gold, worn upon the breast, is to be seen upon the famous tapestry, considered to represent Henry VI and his Queen, in St. Mary’s Hall, Coventry.

Collars of extraordinary richness seem to have been worn by Henry IV ; for among the miscellaneous documents preserved at St. Paul’s Cathedra is a list of various jewels set with diamonds both large and small, with balas rubies, sapphires, and clusters of pearls, which were to be employed for making collars for the king and queen.

The Inventories of the Exchequer contain frequent reference to what is termed the Iklyngton Coler. This magnificent collar, which Shaw was frequently pawned by Henry VI, was enriched with four rubies, four large sapphires, thirty-two great pearls, and fifty-three pearls of a lesser sort.’ In addition to the purelyornamental necklaces, collars or chains of ” livery “—bearing the heraldic devices of the day—were assumed by various royal and noble families, and were bestowed as marks of favor or friendship on persons of various ranks, and both sexes, who wore them as badges of adherence to those families.

An instance of the bestowal of a chain of this kind occurred in 1477 after the siege of Quesnoy by Louis XI, who, witnessing a great feat of gallantry on the part of Raoul de Lannoy, is reported to have placed on his neck a chain of great value, and to have thus wittily addressed him: ” Mon ami, vous etes trop furieux en un combat; il faut vous encJiainer, car je ne veux point vous perdre, ddsirant me servir encore de vous plusieurs fois.”

Richard II, as shown by the Earl of Pembroke’s remarkable picture of that monarch at Wilton, wore, in addition to his device the white hart, a collar of broom-pods. Henry IV employed the well-known collar of SS, derived from his father John of Gaunt.

The collar of Edward IV was composed of two of his badges, the sun in its splendor, and the white rose; while a third, the white lion of March, was added as a pendant. Richard III retained the Yorkist collar, substituting for the lion pendant a boar.”

Private family collars were also worn, and an early instance of one occurs in the brass of Thomas Lord Berkeley (1417) in the church of Wootton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire; the band round the neck being charged with mermaids, the badge of the Berkeleys.

The SS collar is the best known of all. It is composed of the letter S in gold repeated indefinitely, either fixed on velvet or some material, or forming the links of a chain. The letters are generally united by knots ; they sometimes terminate with portcullises and have a pendent rose. The collar was worn by the Lord Chief Justice, the Lord Mayor of London, and the chief heralds—that belonging to the Lord Mayor being an original and beautiful example of English jewelry of the sixteenth century.

Despite all that has been written upon the SS collar no conclusive explanation has been offered as to its origin and meaning. Several representations of livery collars appear upon monumental effigies of the latter half of the fifteenth century, and there is frequent mention of them in the inventories of the same period, but, with the exception of the SS collar, they are not met with at all in the sixteenth century.

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ANGLO-SAXON JEWELLERY (FIFTH TO SEVENTH CENTURY)—MEROVINGIAN JEWELLERY Part 2: Earrings and Necklaces

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A certain number of earrings have been found, but they are not common. They are generally a ring of silver wire, plain, or twisted into a spiral form, and hung sometimes with beads of colored glass or clay.

The earrings worn by the Franks during the contemporary Merovingian period are of a type unrepresented in Anglo-Saxon jewelry. They differ in size, but are nearly all of the same pattern, and have a plain hoop. One end is pointed to pierce the ear, and on the other end is a polygonal metal cube, each side of which is set with a slice of garnet or red glass.

Anglo-Saxon necklaces are composed of beads of many varieties. The most common, of glass and numerous colors and shapes, are very similar to the Roman beads. Beads of amethystine quartz, probably of Transylvanian or German origin, and particularly beads of amber from the Baltic, are found strung on necklaces, or were hung singly from the neck. When one remembers the superstitious respect which was universally paid to precious stones, and especially to amber, in early times, it is probable that these were regarded as amulets.

The more sumptuous necklaces, which must have been worn by ladies of rank, are composed of gold beads or of precious stones in delicate settings of twisted or beaded gold. The pendent ornaments hung to the necklaces are very beautiful. Some are formed of large, finely colored garnets cut into triangle or pear shapes and mounted in gold. Others, generally circular, are of pure gold worked in interlaced or vermiculated patterns and set with precious stones.

A striking group of pendants is formed of coins of foreign origin. These are industrial arts of the Anglo-Saxons Roman or Byzantine, or rude copies of them made in England by Anglo-Saxon goldsmiths.

In the British Museum is an elaborate necklace of glass and terracotta beads with pendent gold coins of the seventh century, which was found, together with a splendid brooch, at Sarre, in Kent. Three of the pendants are coins of Emperors of the East — Mauricius and Heraclius—and the fourth is a coin of Chlotaire II of France.

The central pendant, also circular, is ornamented with a section from a rod of Roman millefiori glass set in gold. Besides coins—the frequent use of which in late Roman jewelry has already been noticed—there exists a well-known class of personal ornaments known as nummi bracteati, bracteate coins, and sometimes as “spangle money.” They are thin discs of metal stamped in a die, so that the design appears in relief on the face and incuse on the back. They are generally of gold, have a beaded edging, and are supplied with loops, also of gold, for suspension.

Continued in part 3

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Early Romano-British Jewelry Part 3: Hair Jewelry, Pins and Necklaces

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Whatever races settled under the banner of Rome, they accepted unreservedly its ornaments, dress, and manners, as well as its language and its laws. Hence the jewelry which dates from the Roman occupation of Britain (i.e. from about 43 a.d. to about 410 a.d.) follows for the most part the Italian designs, and at the same time differs but little from that brought to light among the remains of Roman colonization elsewhere.

The majority of Romano-British personal ornaments are of bronze—in most cases probably once gilt. Comparatively few objects of gold have been found. Among the articles of female adornment that occur in the greatest abundance are pins, which were used for fixing the hair in a knot behind the head, though some may have been employed as dress-pins. They range from 3 to 9 inches in length, and have heads of various designs, terminating in some instances in a bust or in a figure. The majority are of bone, many are of bronze, and a few are composed of colored glass or jet.

A few necklaces of gold and bronze have been found, but by far the greater number appear to have been composed of beads of glass—in the manufacture of which the Romans displayed remarkable skill. These necklaces differ considerably in form and color.

The commonest beads are spherical and pierced with a large hole. They are usually of one color, generally blue, but some are of compound colors exquisitely blended, and a few have a serpentine ornament fused into the glass. Beads of amber, pearls, and glazed earthenware have also been found.

A characteristic of Roman jewels executed in Britain is their ornamentation with enamels. The metal employed is generally bronze, the surface of which is ornamented by the champlev6 process; that is to say, it is incised or grooved out (though sometimes stamped or cast) in such a manner as to leave floral or geometrical patterns in relief, and into the sunk spaces thus formed are fused opaque enamels, principally red, yellow, green, blue, and white.

This enameling is generally found upon brooches both of the circular and of the bow-shaped type. The fronts of the circular brooches are flat, or raised like a shield into several compartments of different colors. The pin, which is hidden, moves freely on a pivot, and its point is held by a catch. The finest specimen, discovered in London, was formerly in the collection of Lord Hastings, from whom it was acquired by the British Museum. It is a circular flat plaque, the pattern on which consists of four qua trefoils with blue centers on a red ground, and four small circles of yellow enamel between them.

In the center is the revolving figure of a dolphin. Brooches enameled in a somewhat similar manner have been found in France at Mont Beuvray, near Autun, and are preserved in the Mus(fe des Antiquits Nationales at St. Germain. Quite different are certain ornaments set with slices cut from rods of millefiori glass, which were executed for the most part during the decline of the Roman power.

One of the most elaborate is a brooch found at Pont-y-Saison, near Chepstow, Monmouthshire, in 1861, and preserved among other Romano-British antiquities in the British Museum. It has an elaborate pattern of checker d squares of red, white, and blue.

Brooches of the Gallo-Roman and early Merovingian period appear to have been also decorated in this manner. Of bow-shaped brooches, or fibulae, there exists a considerable number of varieties. Among these we may distinguish the T-shaped fibula with long cylindrical head, and a wide flat bow with sunk designs filled with enamel. In another variety the.bow passes through a horizontal disc in its center and assumes a form resembling a tassel.

Another common variety is the crossbow form, either with a spiral or hinged head. In many Roman fibulae the pin works on a hinge, but in the variety known as the harp-shaped, the sheath of the pin is filled in with a triangular plate, pierced or solid, and the head is slightly expanded to suit the coils of a spring.

In addition to the more formal types of brooches, many fancy devices, probably of Celtic origin, appear to have been in vogue among the Roman colonists of Great Britain. These are in the shape of birds, fish, and all kinds of animals, brilliant with various colored enamels, which are often so disposed as to indicate the spots or markings of the animals. A remarkable series of brooches of this kind is in the possession of Sir John Evans.

Continued in Part 4

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Roman Jewelry Part 3: Rings

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The Romans appear to have been more extravagant in their rings than any other people. Very few ornamental rings are earlier in date than the time of the Empire, when the passion for gold rings adorned with precious stones and engraved gems seems to have pervaded all classes ; and it reached such extravagance that Martial speaks of a man who wore six on every finger, and recommends another who had one of monstrous size to wear it on his leg instead of his hand.

Some individuals, we learn, had different sets of rings for summer and winter, those for the latter season being too heavy for hot weather. Their weight was sometimes very great, and it is not to be wondered that complaint was made of their liability to slip off when the finger was greasy at a meal.

Even until the latest times the ring retained its original purpose as a means of distinction or of recognition, and was used by its wearer to impress his seal on documents and private property. It continued also to be associated with the idea of power and privilege especially bestowed upon the individual. Thus the Roman paterfamilias wore on his finger a ring with a small key attached.

Every Roman appears to have chosen at pleasure the subject or device for his signet— a portrait of a friend or an ancestor, or some subject from poetry or mythology. Each of these devices became associated with a particular person, and served, like the coat-of-arms of later centuries, as a mark of identification.

The commonest variety of ring is formed of a plain band of gold which widens and thickens towards the bezel, and is set with a small stone. The latter is generally engraved, but is often quite plain. The similarity of the convex sardonyx to an eye often struck the ancients, and may account for this stone being frequently found not engraved in rings, and set in a collet, itself shaped into the form of a human eye. Such rings were no doubt worn as amulets.

Rings containing stones set in this manner have sometimes a flattened hoop and open-work shoulders. Other distinctly ornamental rings, known by the Romans as polypscpiii, are formed of two or more rings united together. A large number of Roman rings are of bronze, and the key rings referred to are, with a very few exceptions, of this material.

Iron and bronze rings were not infrequently gilded. Such rings, according to Pliny, were called Samothracian. Rings in the form of snakes were very popular, as were those shaped like a Herculean knot. Like other articles of jewelry, rings are sometimes set with gold coins of the late Empire.

A few ornamental rings have high pyramidal bezels which were sometimes hollow, and were made to contain poison. Hannibal killed himself with a dose of poison which he carried about with him in his ring; so did the officer in charge of the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus. ” Being arrested,” says Pliny, ” he broke the stone of his ring between his teeth and expired on the spot.”

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Roman Jewelry Part 2 Necklaces, Pendants, Amulets, Bracelets

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It is especially to be noticed that the shapes of all ancient jewellery and ornaments, particularly those of the Romans, were in a great measure decided by a belief in their magical efficiency. The wearing of amulets was most frequent among the Romans of all classes.

They were generally enclosed in a bulla, and suspended from the neck. A remarkable specimen of a bulla, found at Herculaneum, and presented by the Court of Naples to the Empress Josephine, is now in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. The lentoid-shaped bulla was worn almost entirely by children, but other pendants, shaped like pendent vases, or in the form of a square or cylindrical box, were a not unusual ornament of the necklace of Roman ladies. They probably always possessed a symbolical meaning.

The simple neck-chain, whether supplied with the appendage or not, was called a monile ; the luxury of latter times doubled or trebled the rows of chains. These were often of finely plaited gold or else of links.

Other necklaces were composed of mounted precious stones, the fashion for which appears to date from the Oriental conquests of Pompey in the first century B.C. Vast quantities of precious stones were brought into Rome at that date; for the treasury of Mithridates, captured at Talaura, contained, besides many other precious objects, “jewels for the breast and neck all set with gems.”

The Romans also wore necklaces composed of beads of various materials, both precious stones and glass, of many colors and various shapes. Amber was largely employed for the purpose, and held in high estimation by Roman ladies, who regarded it not only as an ornament, but as a talisman for protection against danger, especially witchcraft.

Amber in which small insects were enclosed was particularly prized : ” the price,” says Pliny, ” of a small figure in it, however diminutive, exceeds that of a living healthy slave.” Both cameos and large intaglios were in frequent use as pendent ornaments, and in the most recent pieces of Roman jewellery imperial gold coins were employed for rings, bracelets, and especially for pendants to necklaces.

For the latter purpose they are not infrequently found set in opus interrasile —the openwork characteristic of late Roman jewellery. The best example of cameos and coins mounted thus is a necklace in the Cabinet des M6dailles at Paris.’ In the case of bracelets, which were favorite ornaments among the Romans, two kinds have to be noticed.

The first, termed dextrocherium, was meant to be worn round the right wrist, and follows the same rules of formation as the necklace, but no pendent motives are introduced. Other bracelets are formed of two rounded halves of solid character, hinged, and closed by a snap. The second kind of bracelet or armlet, worn on the upper arm, was the brachiale or torques bracJiialis; another was the spinther, which kept its place on the arm by its own elasticity. The difference, however, between the different Latin terms for the armlet is somewhat obscure.

Originally of pure gold, bracelets were subsequently set with precious stones and engraved gems, and, like the specimen in the Imperial Cabinet at Vienna, with coins dating from the third century a.d. The serpent form appears to have been a favorite one among Roman ladies, and a fine pair of armlets of this design are in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Continued in Part 3

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Etruscan Jewelry Part 3: Necklaces, Bracelets, Brooches and Rings

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In examining the very primitive necklaces and other ornaments that have been discovered in various tombs in Italy, especially in Etruria and Latium, the extraordinary abundance of amber at once attracts attention. The amber of this ancient jewelry of Italy has accessories, sometimes of gold, and more frequently of silver, or else of an alloy of gold and silver termed electritm.

A noteworthy early necklace of these materials found at Praeneste, and now in the British Museum, is composed of amber cylinders, and pendent vases alternately of amber and electrum. Though the majority of Etruscan necklaces aim at largeness of display, some are as delicate and refined as the best Greek ornaments.

From a round plaited chain in the British Museum hangs a single ornament—the mask of a faun whose hair, eyebrows, and wavy beard are worked with fine granulation; another pendant is a Negro’s head on which the granules are disposed with exquisite skill to represent the short woolly hair.

Finer even than either of these—and a remarkable example of the combination of the two processes of filigree and granulation—is a neck pendant in the form of a mask of Dionysos (Bacchus) in the Campana Collection in the Louvre. On this the curls of hair over the forehead are represented by filigree spirals, while the beard is worked .entirely in the granulated method.

A large number of necklaces have evidently been produced simply for sepulchral purposes, for they are composed, like the majority of crowns, of the thinnest bracteate gold in the shape of rosettes and studs strung together. The chief characteristic of Etruscan necklaces is their ornamentation with pendent bullce. The bulla, from the Latin word meaning a bubble, was usually made of two concave plates of gold fastened together so as to form a globe—lentoid or vase-shaped which an amulet was contained.

In Etruscan art both men and women are represented wearing necklaces and even bracelets formed of bullae. Occasionally, instead of a bulla, is some such object as the tooth or claw of an animal, or a small primitive flint arrow-head, which served as an amulet.

Of bracelets of primitive work are a famous pair in the British Museum, which were discovered in a tomb at Cervetri (Caere). They are composed of thin plates of gold measuring 8 inches in length by 2 inches in width, divided into six sections, ornamented with scenes thoroughly Assyrian in character, indicated by lines of microscopic granulations.

Etruscan fibulae of gold are generally formed of a short arc-shaped bow and a long sheath for the pin decorated with minute granular work. Upon the upper surface are often rows of small models of animals.

Upon the sheath of a large early fibula found at Cervetri (Caere), and now in the British Museum, is a double row of twenty-four standing lions. The bow of the later fibulae is sometimes in the form of a single figure, as that of a crouching lion.

A considerable number of small fibulae of this type appear to have been worn in rows down the seam of the dress. Two series of these, the one numbering twenty-one and the other thirty-nine, both found in a tomb at Vulci, are in the Louvre.

The Etruscans appear to have had a special love for rings; every finger, including the thumb, was covered with them, and a considerable number have been discovered in the tombs. The majority are composed of scarabs mounted much in the same style as those of the Egyptians.

One of the finest Etruscan rings in the British Museum is formed by two lions, whose bodies make up the shank, their heads and fore-paws supporting a bezel in filigree which holds the signet stone—a small scarabasus charged with a lion regardant.

Another remarkable class of Etruscan rings has large oval bezels measuring upwards of an inch and a half across. These are set with an engraved gem, and have wide borders ornamented with various designs. An example in the British Museum shows a pattern formed of dolphins and waves.

Continued in Part 4

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The Development of Earrings, Necklaces and the Brooch

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A few preliminary words may be said respecting the evolution of some of the various ornaments employed on the different parts of the body. The custom of decorating the head with jeweled ornaments was probably suggested by the natural idea of encircling it with flowers in token of joy or triumph. The use of diadems was in early times generally reserved for those of noble birth. From the fillets employed for binding the hair, developed circlets, which with the addition of precious stones assumed the dignity of crowns. The use of earrings as personal ornaments seems to have originated in the East, where they have always been in favor.

Earrings formed an important article of jewelry during the classical ages, but they were not commonly worn again in Europe until the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. At the present moment fashion does not decree their general use.

The necklace—one of the most primitive of ornaments—is worn either close round the throat, loosely-round the neck, or low down upon the breast. Occasionally, as among savage peoples, it takes the form of a ring ; but as a rule it is formed either of a simple cord, or a chain formed by the appropriate linking together of rings, perforated discs, or pierced balls. Artistic effects are produced by a regular alternation of these details, as well as by the tapering of the chain from the middle towards the ends. Neck-chains with symbolic elements are those worn as orders and as signs of dignity.

The necklace may be further ornamented by a row of pendants, or more generally a single pendent ornament. The pendant thus employed has become, perhaps, the most beautiful of all articles of adornment. It occupies a conspicuous position upon the person, and possibly for this reason has evoked the greatest skill and refinement of the jeweler’s art. Its varieties are manifold—from the primitive charm, and the symbolic ornaments of the Middle Ages, to the elaborate pendant, for the most part purely decorative, dating from Renaissance times.

Next comes the important group of ornaments worn chiefly on the breast, comprising brooches, clasps and pins, employed for fastening the dress. All have their origin in the simple pin. To this class belongs the hair-pin, of which the most handsome and varied examples are to be found in ancient work. Unlike modern hair-pins which are provided with two points, they have a single cylindrical or slightly conical stem, pointed at one end, and terminated at the other with a knob or some other finial.

A simple pin for the dress was uncommon in antiquity, and its general use for this purpose belongs to comparatively recent times. Its place was always taken, especially in early periods, by a brooch—an outcome of the pin—which supplied the want of buttons.

The brooch, an ornament of very considerable importance, can be traced down from the earliest civilization, and is a valuable criterion in questions of ethnic movements. The story, however, of the growth of each of the different classes into which primitive brooches may be divided, the periods at which these ornaments made their appearance, and the deductions of ethnographically interest that may be drawn therefrom, must of necessity lie outside the scope of the present work.

All brooches, as has been said, originated from the simple pin, which itself was preceded by and probably derived from a thorn. At an early period this pin, after having been passed through the garment, was for greater security bent up, and its point caught behind the head. Later, in order that the point might be held more securely in the catch, the pin was given a complete turn, which produced the spring, as seen in the common form of our modern safety-pin. Thus constructed, the brooch, though in one piece, may be said to consist of four parts :

(a) the ecus or pin ;
(b) the d spring or hinge;
(c) the safety-pin, catch or locking apparatus, which forms the sheath of the pin; and
(d) the bow or back—the framework uniting the spring with the catch.

From this primitive safety-pin, which is the foundation form of all brooches with a catch, developed the numerous varieties and patterns of the brooch or fibula of succeeding ages. Among these is the Roman fibula, which instead of being made of one piece of metal, is of two pieces—the bow and the ecus. The pin here works on a hinge—the result of gradually extending the coils of the spring symmetrically on each side of the pin into what is known as the double-twisted or bilateral spring, and placing a bar through the coils thus made.

From the brooch hinged in this manner originated the Roman provincial fibula of the T-shaped type common in France and Britain, and later the cruciform brooch of Ansflo-Saxon times. The brooch with a hinge was exclusively used until the revival of the ” safety-pin” with a spring, patented as a new invention in the nineteenth century.

In addition to the above brooches or fibiilae (group i)—all developments of the safety-pin type—there are three other large groups of brooches: (2) the circular disc type; (3) the pen annular or Celtic brooch ; and (4) the ring-brooch.

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