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[Jewelry] 7th C. b.C. bronze, ivory, iron and amber mantle brooch! (Read 1197 times)
Mauro Fiorentini
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[Jewelry] 7th C. b.C. bronze, ivory, iron and amber mantle brooch!
Nov 21st, 2017 at 1:56pm
 
There you go:

...

This is the replica of an ancient brooch that consisted of two halves sewn on the fabric of a mantle or, less probably, a belt, and held together by an iron pin.
It works exactly like a hinge.

Dating back to the 7th century b.C., this type of brooches is extremely rare in Italy, for only two of them have been found, one close to Rome and one in Matelica, not far from my town.
The originals are different one from the other so I decided to model my replica on the Matelica one but customizing it a bit, as may have happened 2600 years ago with the smith following the wishes of his client.

The brooch consists of two bronze halves on wich two ivory (bone in my replica: the use of ivory is illegal in Italy) plates are riveted. A couple of ducks carved in amber is riveted on each ivory plate, their rivets being made out of amber as well and passing through the heads of the ducks as if they are their eyes.
The Matelica brooch has the upper ducks facing the inside of the brooch, while the lower ducks faces the outside and are placed slingthly out of the vertical axis.

I didnt' like all this so I put my lower ducks in line with the upper ones, facing the same direction.

...

Now, to find a mantle...
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vetryan15
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Re: [Jewelry] 7th C. b.C. bronze, ivory, iron and amber mantle brooch!
Reply #1 - Nov 21st, 2017 at 2:28pm
 
That's amazing
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: [Jewelry] 7th C. b.C. bronze, ivory, iron and amber mantle brooch!
Reply #2 - Nov 21st, 2017 at 2:36pm
 
Thanks Ryan, I'm glad you like it!
I begun working amber almost one year ago... so far it's the only material that doesn't stink when worked  Grin

I forgot to add the size: it's 6.8 centimeters long (8.7 with the iron pin, means almost 2.76 inches and 3.15 with/withour pin) and 5.7 cm wide (almost 2.36 inches)  Wink Smiley
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Re: [Jewelry] 7th C. b.C. bronze, ivory, iron and amber mantle brooch!
Reply #3 - Nov 21st, 2017 at 2:42pm
 
Amazing work!
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Re: [Jewelry] 7th C. b.C. bronze, ivory, iron and amber mantle brooch!
Reply #4 - Nov 21st, 2017 at 3:54pm
 
I have never worked with amber. But tgat is awesome. Really loving it.
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: [Jewelry] 7th C. b.C. bronze, ivory, iron and amber mantle brooch!
Reply #5 - Nov 21st, 2017 at 6:07pm
 
Thank you guys, most appreciated.

Dimensions of the ducks and their eyes/rivets:
...

Working amber is hard, it mostly depends on its internal composition and hardness.
Every piece is different and I think I was very lucky to find a piece of amber so resistent that allowed me to make these 4 ducks at the first attempt:
...

...
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Re: [Jewelry] 7th C. b.C. bronze, ivory, iron and amber mantle brooch!
Reply #6 - Nov 22nd, 2017 at 3:51pm
 
I love it!  Beautiful work.

Did you make the bronze for the back?

Do you know how it was attached to the garment it was worn on?  I have an idea, I'd like to see if I guessed right.
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: [Jewelry] 7th C. b.C. bronze, ivory, iron and amber mantle brooch!
Reply #7 - Nov 28th, 2017 at 6:14am
 
Hallo Bill! good to see you  Cheesy
Thanks for the kind words, no, I didn't melt the bronze plates: I simply took a sheet of bronze and cut/bent/folded it accordingly.
I made all the rest, though: the ducks, their nails, the bone plates, the iron pin and the bronze nails.
I thinks it was attached by sewing it through the two vertical lines of small holes on the bronze plates - or this is how I attached it to a belt, at last  Grin Any idea??
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Re: [Jewelry] 7th C. b.C. bronze, ivory, iron and amber mantle brooch!
Reply #8 - Nov 29th, 2017 at 7:56pm
 
I was actually thinking the two sides were on different pieces of the garment and the iron pin was used to join the two pieces together.

Like on the collar area of a cape, line up the "hinge" part and slip the pin in to keep your cloak from sliding off.  Sort of like the world's most ornate cloak pin.

Or possibly the front of a padded vest or possibly a heavy leather one.  One thick enough to be almost armor?  Or at least some protection from stabbing weapons? 

Most cloth would not have supported the weight, unless the back of the garment counterbalanced it, like a cloak hanging behind, or the garment was really thick.

Am I close?
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: [Jewelry] 7th C. b.C. bronze, ivory, iron and amber mantle brooch!
Reply #9 - Dec 5th, 2017 at 1:44pm
 
Bill Skinner wrote on Nov 29th, 2017 at 7:56pm:
I was actually thinking the two sides were on different pieces of the garment and the iron pin was used to join the two pieces together.



Exactly, I didn't manage to explain myself  Grin
The brooch has been found on the left shoulder of the dead, so it may be that he was wearing a mantle when buried and that it was habitually worn that way, closed on the left shoulder.


Bill Skinner wrote on Nov 29th, 2017 at 7:56pm:
Or possibly the front of a padded vest or possibly a heavy leather one.  One thick enough to be almost armor?  Or at least some protection from stabbing weapons?

 

Eh, this can be.
Dude was buried with 5 swords, 3 maces, 3 axes one of which double-edged, 3 lances, 2 helmets, 1 bronze cuirass and 2 war chariots... he may have owned a padded vest as well!  Wink
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