A Medieval Buckle, 14th century


Item ref: 3898

  • England or France
  • Copper alloy, gold, silver and iron
  • 5.5 cm / 2.2 in


Private collection, UK

Formed of a single-frame buckle and rectangular strap-plate each of copper alloy. The buckle with an elliptical centre and off-set bar and decorated with small panels of incised and punched linear ornament. The plate incised with a finely drawn heraldic lion statant, the details and contours of its body picked-out in punched lines, the beast gilded against a contrasting series of punched and silvered small background panels (in the manner of a stained-glass window), all within an incised beaded border, andthe buckle frame retaining traces of gilding also.

In the lore of the medieval Latin Bestiaries or ‘books of beasts’ the lion is The Prince of All Animals. Therein it was said that their primary attributes were courage and compassion, and it is not surprising therefore that the lion was a popular heraldic emblem.