• Etruria
  • 7th century B.C.
Catalogue Entry

This gold brooch has glass in its decorative areas. The glass is a type of core technique glass known as the rod technique. A metal wire would be thinly coated in clay to form a core and then hot glass would have been applied to form the body. After the body was decorated, the metal rod would have been extracted to complete the process. This method was used to create long, thin glass vessels, beads, pendants, and brooch decorations. The central core material is observable in this work at its breaks. The dark brown body is wrapped in an attached yellow thread of glass and a single row of festoon pattern is on the back. A pair of feather patterns then extend along each side of this festoon pattern to the hip. The composition and patterns of the motifs are extremely delicately and beautifully handled. The glass was inlaid into the gold fastener, with glanulation but the pin holder has been lost. Glass production began on the Balkan peninsula and in northern and central Italy in the 8th century BC, and their first products were brooch decoration, armlets, and cylindrical beads made from the rod technique. This type of decorated brooch has been excavated from Etruscan tombs dating to the 8th - 7th centuries BC.