Rare Byzantine 'Human Mask' Buckle
Copper-alloy, 8.79 grams, 39.05 mm. Circa 6th century AD. A cast copper-alloy buckle fitting comprising an eccentric annular plate, trapezoidal plate and strap loop. The trapezoidal plate features a carefully modelled human mask with pellet eyes and block nose above the discoid plate with T-shaped central void and running scroll decoration to the upper face in three panels. Opposite the human mask panel the plate narrows to accept a tongue (lost in antiquity). Above the mask there is a square frame for attachment of a strap. Very fine condition. Provenance: from an important London collection, cat.no.1770.