Forms of Mediaeval jewellery in the light of collections and finds from southern Moravia
Source document: . Ornament - oděv - šperk : archaické projevy materiální kultury. 1. vyd. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 2009, pp. 141-159
Written records list large quantities of jewellery owned by both aristocratic and burgher families in the Middle Ages. However, material evidence for such a plethora of display is largely absent. There are several reasons for the discrepancies between written and pictorial sources and the actual number of preserved pieces of jewellery turned up by excavations or acquired for museum collections. Jewellery was used as a form of currency and property; furthermore, it was frequently easy loot. In addition, owners may have ordered it to be dismantled, either to sell piecemeal or to commission the elements remade to comply with period fashion. Finds and collection items from southern Moravia feature, in particular, common types of jewellery with practical functions: brooches, buckles and metal pieces used with fabric and leather. Exclusively aesthetic jewellery included rings and necklaces, while rosaries had a religious function. To obtain a comprehensive view of the forms of mediaeval jewellery typical of the middle strata, it is necessary to compare material evidence with written and iconographic sources, not only from the Czech lands but also from the whole of Central Europe.
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