Gilded bronze falcon

Metropolitan Museum of Art1200/1220

British Museum

British Museum
London, United Kingdom

Falcon ornaments like this one were carried by the Normans on battle-standards
 during their conquest of Sicily. As non-royal newcomers, the Normans needed to legitimise their rule and used the falcon and lion as heraldic symbols. Falconry was a pastime reserved for medieval nobility. This bronze represents a rare gerfalcon, a bird of prey kept for use by the king only. This particular falcon ornament was made 150 years after the Norman invasion.


  • Title: Gilded bronze falcon
  • Creator: Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Date Created: 1200/1220
  • Location Created: Sicily or southern Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: H. 28 cm
  • Medium: bronze, traces of gold

  • Copyright: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters Collection, 1947 (47.101.60) © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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