late 700s-early 800s
Gold with repoussé and filigree decoration; copper backplate
Diameter: 7.7 cm (3 1/16 in.)
Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2009.344
Look carefully at this brooch and notice a small animal, perhaps a dragon, camouflaged amid the swirling whirls of gold.
Women used brooches like this to fasten their veils beneath the chin. Its rare form--a hexagram--suggests that it also functioned as a talisman or amulet to attract good luck and to ward off evil.
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