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        Selection of jewellery from the Treasure of Childeric

        Merovingian (5th century); French. Medium: gold and garnet. Ornamentation of a sword grip, pommel, sheath and cross-guard; decorated horse tack with bee motif; coins with an effigy of the Byzantine Emperor Xenon (457-482) of Isauria; found in the tomb of Childeric, Tournai, France in 1653; Childeric I (426-491) King of the Salian Franks; the treasure was found in 1653 in Childeric's tomb at Tournai. Belgium and given in 1665 to King Louis XIV of France, who placed the objects in his Cabinet de m�dailles, today in the Biblioth�que nationale de France; stolen in 1831, some of the treasure was recovered from the river Seine; objects shown in the photo include (R); fragments of a scramasax (sword; (L); bees, buckle and ring; the bees probably were used as decoration for horse harness and later they caught the attention of Emperor Napoleon I who adopted the bee as a symbolic emblem linking the new Bonaparte dynasty with the origins of France and the Merovingian dynasty; Provenance: Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France / Giraudon. Photographic Rights The Bridgeman Art Library.


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